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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Time Captured is an historical fiction novel written by Varick Addler. Post-WWI Germany was a hard place to survive in, and young Dietrich Schiederer and his mother were all too aware of the stresses and strains working men were subjected to in this harsh new world of privation. Dietrich’s father took to drinking out of frustration and anger over seeing his family subjected to poverty, but, with the drinking came an awful side to the man. His wife dreaded his return home from a night of hard drinking, and his son knew that the beatings his mother received were something he had no control over, and that he was an unwilling participant in the tragic family dynamic. When his father finally died in 1929, Dietrich was actually relieved, even though the death meant he would now be responsible for the well-being of his mother and sisters. As inflation continued to surge, and his own efforts to keep his family alive seemed futile, Dietrich found himself subject to rage and feelings of resentment that sought a target, someone to blame for all these hardships. Historians could point at the harsh treaty that had been ratified at Versailles and the impossible reparations Germany had to shoulder, but the common man wasn't privy to that world view. Dietrich found himself agreeing with those who blamed the Jews for everything. There seemed to be no other reason for all of Germany's ills. He began to feel something like faith, a belief that things would get better, if only...
Varick Addler's historical fiction novel, Time Captured, has a fascinating alternative reality element to it, as Dietrich Schiederer time-travels between his old and horrific past as an architect of the Holocaust and his present-day existence where Hitler is once again at the helm of the Nazi party and Germany. Throughout the story is a Faustian thread as Satan makes a deal with the unwitting Dietrich that he is unable to resist. Addler's character allows the reader to view the events leading up to WWII and the horrors of the concentration camps from a totally different, and decidedly uncomfortable, perspective. Schiederer is a complex, tormented, and unlikable character, especially when his conscience is pricked only for those he loves but not for anyone else. This intense self-regard and preoccupation makes his story unique, and his chance for redemption seems almost impossible. Time Captured is thought-provoking and timely, considering the current political attitudes in the world today. It's highly recommended.