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The Fixed Period (World's Classics) [Paperback]

Anthony Trollope , David Skilton
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 22 April 1993 --  

Book Description

22 April 1993 0192828428 978-0192828422 New edition
This novel is an exercise in Swiftian irony combined with a futuristic love story set in the 1980s - which is quite uncharacteristic of Trollope. This book should be of interest to general readers, Trollope fans, readers interested in Victorian fiction, pre-Orwellian political satire, and futuristic writing of the 19th century.


Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (22 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192828428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192828422
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 910,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

As young adult, Trollope endured seven years of poverty in the General Post Office in London before accepting a better-paying position as postal surveyor in Banagher, Ireland in 1841. The years in Ireland formed the basis of his second career delineating clerical life in small cathedral towns. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trollope at his most chilling 13 Dec 2009
By MC
Format:Paperback
This book is interesting for two reasons: one, because it is Trollope, and therefore has an interesting story line with characters that one comes to know and care about, and two because it explores the question of euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia, in the setting of a British colony in Victorian times.

When I first read it, some years ago now, I had no idea that it was going to be so different; indeed, it can be quite disturbing in parts. There was a lot to think about, and I have recommended the book to many friends during the intervening years. Not a comfy read, but worthwhile. What a good writer he was!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange book 8 Dec 2012
By AUBREY
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Obviously, being Trollope, it's dated.
The main idea, of a fixed period for everyone's life in a small community, democratically made law, is laboured. When the first candidate for being put down decides he still has much to live for the whole thing unravels. As a deus ex machine the British - former rulers - step in and take over, against the law, to prevent the fixed period being implemented. It is developed at length, but could usefully have been half the length. The main character, Mr. Neverbend, is implausibly blind to the ramifications of his ideé fixee.
I was glad to have read it, but also glad to have finished it.
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Inspiring and thought provoking read. A great tale of a dream unrealised, as such stories are rarely thought of, and even less frequently told.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to read 10 July 2013
By JackieA
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I normally enjoy Trollope but this book was way beyond me, I found it very difficult to follow and understand
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3.0 out of 5 stars An absurdly rigid approach to euthanasia 26 Jan 2013
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this novel, written in 1882 but set in the 1980s, Trollope creates an island called Britannula (capital Gladstonopolis) which had been settled by a group of young men from New Zealand. It had been granted self-government as a republic by Great Britain (on the lines of New Zealand etc), only to have had it taken away again at the point of a British battleship's guns (called a "steam swiveller") when the government of Britannula about to implement, in accordance with a law the young men had passed, the Fixed Period. (One of the weaknesses of the book is that we are told about this dénouement right at the beginning - so the spoiler is not mine.) This law laid down that at the age of 67 its citizens should be deposited in a college for a year's preparatory and honoured stay, at the end of which year they should leave this world by way of euthanasia, to be followed by cremation.

The story is told by President John Neverbend (Trollope is not subtle in the names he bestows on several of his characters), one of the creators of the law and a fanatic and self-righteous believer in it, and in the opening chapter he eloquently explains why it is for the benefit both of society, which will not have to support unproductive members, and of the senior citizens themselves, who will be spared the often prolonged sufferings that old age brings with it.

Needless to say, a law enacted by men in their thirties and forties lost its appeal, to the disgust of John Neverbend, as they were approaching the Fixed Period. The first to reach that age was a still vigorous sexagenarian, ten years Neverbend's senior, who had been a stout supporter and friend of his, when the law had been passed.
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