Charmingly written and nimbly translated, Kawaguchi’s life-affirming tale of café-based time travel and symbolic hot beverages has all the hallmarks of a beloved cult classic. Poignant and gently funny, Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a winning fable about regret and reclaiming lost opportunities.
What would you change if you could go back in time?
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a cafe 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 cafe's time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to 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 cafe, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .
Toshikazu Kawaguchi's beautiful, moving story - translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot - explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 172 g
Dimensions: 196 x 131 x 16 mm
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This book is charming. It flows in a leisurely pace. You must sit in a certain chair in this particular coffee shop. There is nothing you can do while in the past that will change the present and yet some are keen to... More
“A little stretched, but fun ideas and confidently handled”
I was charmed by the idea and found many things to like in the novel.
It's imaginative, as good time travel tales are. There are fun bits and ingenious bits. The time travel mechanics are well handled and... More
A short, quirky little novel which I really enjoyed. It has to be said that the translation is a little clunky in places but, in some ways, that adds to its charm. The plot is set within a small coffee shop in Tokyo... More
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