The Fixed Period

Anthony Trollope

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The Fixed Period

The Fixed Period Published in this extraordinary novel an excercise in Swiftian irony combined with a love story in a furturistic setting is entirely uncharacteristic of Trollope s usual drawing room conversatio

  • Title: The Fixed Period
  • Author: Anthony Trollope
  • ISBN: 9780472064489
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Paperback
  • Published in 1882, this extraordinary novel an excercise in Swiftian irony combined with a love story in a furturistic setting is entirely uncharacteristic of Trollope s usual drawing room conversations and hunting scenes Set in the 1980s, The Fixed Period describes an imaginary, antipodean ex colony governed by a President who views himself as a benefactor of the humanPublished in 1882, this extraordinary novel an excercise in Swiftian irony combined with a love story in a furturistic setting is entirely uncharacteristic of Trollope s usual drawing room conversations and hunting scenes Set in the 1980s, The Fixed Period describes an imaginary, antipodean ex colony governed by a President who views himself as a benefactor of the human race, Orwellian double speak and gunboat diplomacy This is Trollope s strangest and most chilling novel.

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      409 Anthony Trollope
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      Posted by:Anthony Trollope
      Published :2019-02-05T03:17:29+00:00

    One thought on “The Fixed Period

    1. Tony on said:

      So, I joined the Literary People discussion group here when it was first created, armed as usual with the best intentions but, typically for me, lacking in participation. And there've been some interesting selections for group reads, quality works just off the beaten track. But all they did was push the TBR mountain higher and higher. Till now. An angle of repose, and the books topple, bouncing down the hill, and I bend and pick up one at my feet: 'The Fixed Period'. What the . . .?Jenn, the gro [...]

    2. Dominick on said:

      Not one of Trollope's more popular books, but I liked it a lot. Trollope's one foray into SF is an impressive social satire. He imagines a former British colony, Brittannula, one hundred years into the future. This colony would seem to be almost utopian: it has universal education, it has abolished capital punishment, it has no army and apparently little in the way of crime. However, , it also has a law dictating that each citizen is to be euthanized at the age of 67. Mr Neverbend (a typical Tro [...]

    3. Tristram on said:

      "[…] There’s a Prejudice About Killing an Old Man, or a Woman. Young Men Don’t Matter."Even the avid Trollope reader might feel surprised, as I most certainly did, at learning that the man who invented and peopled the whole county of Barsetshire, bedecking it with so much real-life detail, also wrote what is nowadays called a dystopian novel. However, you will probably feel slightly less surprised when you take a look at this dystopian novel, The Fixed Period, whose first instalments appea [...]

    4. Max Berman on said:

      Trollope's novella is as timely as ever in light of our current partisan politics and confrontation with fanatical ideas. As it is readily apparent to any Trollope reader that his one foray into the science fiction genre is surprisingly uncharacteristic, the dynamic needn't be over emphasized, as it is probably more interesting to note how the novella is very much in line with his writing in general. The choice of first person is actually as much of a departure as anything. Failing to recall enc [...]

    5. David on said:

      This is Trollope's worst novel. No doubt about it.It's a futuristic novel set in an imaginary island nation somewhere near New Zealand, an island originally colonized by the English. As so often happens in futuristic novels, the future technologies imagined are, in hindsight, absurd -- steam bicycles, cricket gear (including steam bowlers) that let the sides score unimaginably large number of runs (at least I assume they're unimaginable; I'm not really the person to ask).But the focus of the nov [...]

    6. Paul on said:

      A surprising and rather slight book which plays with some interesting ideas. It was written by Trollope near the end of his life and is set in 1980. I found the characterisation a little thin for Trollope and found the whole book rather unconvincing.

    7. Dan on said:

      Very strange book to hop into with no warning while looking for new Trollope—suddenly he's writing dystopian fiction set in 1980, and he's not especially good at it. (He can't avoid, after all, being himself, and being preoccupied with his own preoccupations.) But an interesting read, if you come at it sympathetically. What was most fun, to me, was imagining that Britannula was exactly as he describes it in the actual 1980, rather than the extremely Victorian one he is implicitly writing about [...]

    8. Paul on said:

      Written in 1882, The Fixed Period does show it's age a bit. Not so much in the writing, but in the pace of the novel and some of the attitudes expressed. That said, the dialogue-heavy style does make for a very easy read.What really makes the novel so readable, though, is the central idea: The attempt to build a dystopia from the point of view of the utopian trying to build it. In this, Trollope very effectively, captures the core point that one person's utopia is a dystopia for many others.

    9. Jenn McCollum on said:

      *SPOILERSBrace yourself. Try to imagine a world in which the violin has become “nearly obsolete.” I know, right?! You’ve nearly fallen to your knees, begging for mercy, asking yourself why. Why, great creator, did humanity ever get to this point?I am a big fan of the violin. I am learning to play it at almost 40 years old because I feel that it is the most beautiful instrument on the planet. Yet, when Trollope kicks off his futuristic dystopia novella The Fixed Period (British, 1882) with [...]

    10. David Fernandes on said:

      The problem is that Anthony Trollope transformed his good short story into a bad novel: the philosophical vision and erudite English are obfuscated by dreadful boring episodes like the Cricket game. Nevertheless, the Fixed Period thesis is successfully introduced: "it consists altogether of the abolition of the miseries, weakness, and fainéant imbecility of old age, by the prearranged ceasing to live of those who would otherwise become old." And it also successfully explained why the human natu [...]

    11. Yooperprof on said:

      "Star ratings" can really be very frustrating at times, because they don't offer the opportunity for half star rankings. This book for example fits squarely for me in between one and two stars - that is to say, it was "okay" though I didn't like it. What I mean is that "The Fixed Period" is undeniably fascinating from a historical and biographical perspective: who knew that Anthony Trollope, the great Victorian realist, wrote speculative fiction set in an imagined future? Generally I love Trollo [...]

    12. Mumbler on said:

      This is indeed a dreary, social-philosophical, what-if novel. I had to skim; I couldn't stand it. Can't help being surprised that AT did this. Partly that he would choose to, partly that it is so bad. Well, debating these kinds if ideas in a novel is just about guaranteed to produce a bad novel. I may still be marvelling a bit at how bad it is. But mostly, I guess, I should say that I'm surprised he chose to to this at all, then shocked he went through with it when it proved, in fact, this awful [...]

    13. Andrew on said:

      A Trollope oddity. I thought it was going to be unreadable, but I warmed to it as I went along. It not his worst novel (that's La Vendee by a long way), but the first person narrative doesn't come naturally to Trollope, and the style and subject matter take some getting used to. However, two things redeem it: firstly, he raises interesting and prescient concerns about matters which we are grappling with today - an ageing population and the health-related problems of extreme old age; colonialism [...]

    14. Nat on said:

      This is less dense than other Trollope texts, and is definitely a must read for fans of dystopias or futuristic classics (and it's a better read than Shelley's "The Last Man").But I can think of few things more full of embarrassing potential than attempting to write a story set in the future. There's just so many things that can go wrong.And, well, much as I love Anthony Trollope, so much does go wrong.The things that Trollope thought would change drastically - for example, cricket - have change [...]

    15. rr on said:

      This is an unusual Trollope! Set in the future (which for Trollope is the later 20th century), The Fixed Period focuses on the failed attempt to institute a society-wide practice of euthanasia in the fictional republic of Brittanula. The narrative is presented as the first-person account of Mr. Neverbend, the president of Brittanula and a prime proponent of the fixed period. In his other novels, Trollope's interests in institutions and reform are often apparent, but here they take center stage. [...]

    16. Amelia on said:

      Fans, and perhaps critics, of Anthony Trollope will find this book does not fit into the usual sort of themes of most of his other numerous works. Don't read any more of this review if you don't want a bit of a spoiler.Here are just a couple of major points that set this work apart from other, more famous, works of Trollope:1. This book is set in a fictional land in the south Pacific. That's right, not England, or Ireland, or Australia, or France. Or even America. Seriously. 2. This is a dystopi [...]

    17. Alia S on said:

      I read this because:1) I keep meaning to try Trollope and getting put off by how long his better-known books are.2) I love a good past future—in this case, 1980 as seen from 1880. 3) I am generally a little morbid.It seems like people who know Trollope don’t have much to say for this work, but if you’re not comparing it to anything else and you skim a bit it’s interesting enough and completely relevant. (Being adequately English to look favorably on background elements of cricket and nav [...]

    18. Paul Blakemore on said:

      The premise of a place where any inhabitant who reaches 67 is interred in an asylum and killed for the good of society led me to believe this would be a curious and interesting read. It was certainly both those things but it was also deeply surprising in the way that the characters were so fleshed out. From the intransigence and vanity of Mayor Neverbend, to the quiet wisdom of his wife or the charming cunning of his potential daughter-in-law,each character is human, flawed and so questionable i [...]

    19. Kay on said:

      An unusual novella set in Trollope's future (1980) when a small colony has decided to adopt the idea of a fixed period for life, but as the time comes when the first colonist is due to be "deposited" opposition grows to the plan. The style is rather verbose but the idea is interesting and the relationship between Britain and her colonies is shown in an unexpectedly negative light. There are a number of deliberate futuristic developments - a form of cricket which involves bowling machines rather [...]

    20. Lucy on said:

      Seems he just couldn't make up his mind what he wanted to do with this. The practical futurology stuff is lame, it's no use just saying steam-bicycle and expecting the reader to fill in the detailse euthanasia element was done to death (see what I did there), not a patch on the succinct 'Modest Proposal'.e characterisation and love story are the best bits, Trollope should really have stayed with what he did best. Only one for the completists.

    21. Michael on said:

      Hate to be a hater but this is the least of Trollope's 47 (and I've read them all). A curiously uninspired attempt at science fiction, this is one of those novels that has always fueled the carping about Trollope's mercenary working methods, blah, blah, blah. Yes, there are a few other clinkers but I'd say 4/5 of the novels (at least) are well worth reading! God bless OUP and Penguin for racing to publish all 47 back in the day (I suspect that many are now OP again).

    22. Vaibhav on said:

      Its an interesting book written in 1882 where the author writes about a society makes it a law to euthanize anyone who crosses the age of 67.This book pushed me to think about the basic essence of what is deemed right and wrong in society, how our laws are formed, came to be formed and will continue being formed, how no matter how modern or ancient our society may be today, it was, is and always will, atleast in part, function like the Wild Wild West.

    23. Ejl on said:

      An unexpected science-fictional satire on euthanasia. I understand it is considered a failed experiment by hardcore Trollope fans (and it is certainly different than the only other of his novels that I've read, "Can You Forgive Her?"), I found it a quick & intriguing read. In any case, it has inspired me to read more Trollope (I think I'll go with "The Warden").

    24. Benjamin Kahn on said:

      Strange novel for Trollope - more science fiction than anything else. I enjoyed it, but you have to /like sci-fi/dystopia type books to get it. Foreshadowed Logan's Run in a lot of ways. A solid book, but not for everyone.

    25. Alan on said:

      Published in 1882, then not again until 1981, this is Trollope's foray into dystopian science fiction. Although a bit long-winded at times, this short book is a fascinating read for anyone interested in Victorian ideas and fears about population.

    26. Kelly on said:

      Way too verbose for my liking. Did not really see the point to the whole story and I get the commentary on life/death and choices that it entails, but still thought this book drab. I wanted there to be something to really grab onto, but the whole book was just very repetitive.

    27. Karen on said:

      Anthony Trollope does science fiction! Set in a speculative future of the 1980s in a breakaway British colony off New Zealand this short satirical tale is odd and entertaining.

    28. Keren on said:

      A novel by the governor of a (former!) independent colony of the UK, such government having legislated that life should be brought to an end at a set age.

    29. Darla Ebert on said:

      Very uninteresting. The premise is good, just not written in an interesting style, too many speeches.

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