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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Book - 2019
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In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café's time-travelling offer, in order to confront the lover who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has begun to fade, see their sister one last time, and meet the daughter they never got the chance to know. But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold.
Publisher: London : Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, 2019.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781529029581
1529029589
9781335430991
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Trousselot, Geoffrey - Translator

Opinion

From Library Staff

Highly recommended by Tasia

In a small cafe in Tokyo you can travel back in time, but you must return before the coffee get cold.

A cafe has something magical—if someone sits in a particular chair and a cup of coffee is poured, they can travel
to the past. In this slender story, the lives of visitors and staff intertwine, and four hopeful people sit in the chair. While this book deals with different kinds of loss, it's ulti... Read More »


From the critics


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m
Margush
Apr 30, 2021

It started very promising. I liked the plot. I liked the first two stories. But then it turned into yes, as a reader mentioned below, into a rather dull read. Although this book is about kindness and empathy, I find it depressing. It’s quirky.

ArapahoeJulia Apr 26, 2021

This book warmed me from the inside out. Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a glimpse into what motivates people to venture back into the past, even if only for a moment. The pacing took its time, there wasn't action for the sake of action, there wasn't drama that overtakes the story, but rather real and true circumstances that we all can relate to at our core. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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If you want a fast-paced plot with lots going on, this is not the book for you. But if you are craving a true and simple look into humanity and the heart of people, then you will likely enjoy this book as much as I did! This book captured a brief and true glimmer of life in the amount of time it takes for one’s coffee to get cold.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 03, 2021

A collection of short stories in a basement cafe's cozy setting, Toshikazu Kawaguchi's novel is the most heartwarming book that I have ever read. The book, supposedly set in a Japanese environment of the early 1900s, explores the personality of a group of people who visit a cafe known for transporting customers back into time. Each of the short stories was equally a blessing to read. Each of the stories was heart-touching and beautiful in its own sweet ways. My personal favorite was the fourth and last story about a mother and child. Even though the book isn't written in a fancy way and isn't something I would call a moral tale, its simplicity appealed most to me. The book's central idea was to take the reader on a self-discovery journey and personality, telling that although the present isn't something we can control, the future is very much in our hands. The book is written in four short parts, making it easier to read in a short break.
I feel that this was the most beautiful collection of stories that I have read, and I would recommend this to everybody, regardless of genre. I would love to read the book once more as it is a destresser to me! 5/5 stars
@BookGirl24 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

b
Bmb13
Mar 19, 2021

This is a provocatively charming and heartwarming tale of hope. But, excuse me, I must finish my coffee now!

g
genepy
Feb 13, 2021

A very clever allegory about the concept of time . This is not a novel per se , instead of looking for " emotional depth" (sic) and thrills , one should read between the lines and discover all the philosophical notions implied in those four tales which take place in a sombre café in a basement ( Plato's Cave ? ...). Brilliant.

2
2old2care
Jan 24, 2021

After adapting to the writing style I found it all fell into place in the second chapter. This is a good time travel novel where adults learn to how to approach life despite pain in their past.

c
Cais_Tea
Dec 17, 2020

Despite an inventive time-travel plot and complex relationships between the characters, this novel was very dull and lacked emotional depth. Something seems to have been lost in adapting this story from a play and then translating it into English.

b
brangwinn
Nov 17, 2020

Perhaps it is just me, but I find some Japanese authors are challenging to read, but well worth the time in the end. Time Travel is being offered in a small restaurant, but so many rules are involved few people can do it. Nothing will change even if you go back and apologize or redo that one period in time. And by then end I was left both sad and happy.

i
IrishMoon
Feb 20, 2020

This is a lovely, unique little book. Contained within its few pages are both sadness and great joy. Although it appears to be comprised of 4 short stories, please do read them in order as there is a flow between them.

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