Before the Coffee Gets Cold
December 16, 2022 7:17 PM - Subscribe

In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a cafe that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee -- the chance to travel back in time.

"And yet, where [Toshikazu] Kawaguchi excels is undoubtedly more essential: He has a surprising, unerring ability to find lasting emotional resonance. Interwoven into what initially feels like a whimsical escape are existential conundrums of love and loss, family and freedom, life and death." -- Terry Hong, Christian Science Monitor

"It is unapologetically awkward and campy, but it is full of soul, presented through clever world building and unfolding of its characters and relationships." -- Will Heath, Books & Bao

"At times, Kawaguchi’s hand is a bit too prominent, but despite the occasional clumsiness, the narrative is deeply moving." -- Ian J. Battaglia, Chicago Review of Books
posted by Etrigan (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I loved this book. The followup, Tales From the Cafe, is good too.
posted by COD at 6:30 AM on December 17, 2022

Oh my goodness, did I ever love this book. The lessons people learn when they travel in time are completely unexpected, and the reveals about them are also surprising. I haven't read the second one, but I hope to someday learn about the woman in the chair. I'd read a whole lot of stories set in this universe.
posted by rednikki at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2022

My favorite thing about this book is that it starts to explain very precisely what is going on and then, right at the point where you start asking questions, stops explaining it and just demands that you go with it.

I just got Tales and will almost certainly get the third one that just came out last month.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2022

I really liked this book and didn’t know there was a follow up. I really liked the narrative getting increasingly less expository as it went.
posted by janell at 8:02 PM on December 18, 2022

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