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Summary

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than 100 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 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 café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold. 

©2019 Toshikazu Kawaguchi (P)2019 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

What listeners say about Before the Coffee Gets Cold

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Just No

All the male characters are asses. Goro in the first chapter decides the best time to inform his girlfriend of three years that he has accepted a job in America, is on his way to the airport. In the second chapter, the character with Alzheimer's commits two acts of horrendous emotional harm, both of which are spoilers I can't specify. The third and fourth chapters are driven by characters who refuse, for no reason, to discuss PIVOTAL information with their loved ones. So, no. Not an enjoyable listen for me.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story - read very slowly

Really enjoyed the story but I had to listen in x1.25 as the reader is very slow.

2 people found this helpful

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Time travel

You probably wouldn't notice this tiny Tokyo café if you just walked past. But according to an urban legend, you can travel in time here. But only if you sit in a particular chair, at a particular time, and remember to return to the present before the coffee gets cold. Who would you go see if you were able to travel back in time for a few minutes?

I really enjoyed this book. It reads a bit like watching a play - like we are watching a stage that is always the same, with characters coming and going. I actually really liked all the rules that has to be obeyed in order to time travel, and I liked that we don't get many answers as to why it is like it is. It's as if we just get to peek into this café for a little while, and then when we leave, it continues to exist without us.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Men writing women

Abandoned this book in Chapter one. The story starts with a couple. The woman's appearance is described in detail, from the shape of her lips to the colour of her clothes. She is highly intelligent, has the face of an idol, and the body of a model. She wears conservative clothes, but you can still make out her exceptional figure. She dresses well, but does not care about clothes (until recently she only owned suits). And of course... She does not realise that she is beautiful. Yawn.

This is where I noped out. Maybe it gets better? I did read that [SPOILER] the woman, Kazuki, goes back in time to find it why her boyfriend of three years dumped her. The boyfriend got a job abroad and waited until right before his flight to tell her and break up with her. Why in the world would the smart and career-driven Kazuki, who has been in relationships before and must have some life experience, waste her time on this?

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wonderful stories to get lost with over coffee

it was beautifully read and every story was as thought provoking as the last. Adored every second.

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Great Concept, Wise Lesson

it was an enjoyable read the only fault was sometimes I found the english to simple and repetitive along with this the chapters had been quite long would rather they had split it into sections for the 4 parts and had chapters throughout. Would recommend however and would read again further down the line

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Offensively repetitive

At times this feels like it was written by a school student who is just learning to write fiction; it's so unbelievably repetitive, with the same few phrases (cannot change the present; go back to the past) included over and over, as if there is no other way of explaining these concepts. The characters are quite dull and uninteresting, and the exposition lacks insightful observations, and the isn't much to lure the reader into the world of the story.

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Engrossing and heartwarming

The story literally takes place in one place but the people are so changed. It is really engrossing and heartwarming.

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A great listen

I loved this book. Beautifully written and it's message gently shown. Change is within

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Drink before the coffee gets cold

Amazing, little book ...., Toshikazu Kawaguchi your writing its amazing and you put a lot of your heart in this book.
When you pass page 20 you just cannot stop reading until the last page.
This 213 pages book its fulfilled with love and care to one another.
I am still crying and can't wait to ready the next one.

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  • Sharon Spear
  • 21-04-21

Not my cup of Coffee

Painfully slow, I really struggled with this book. There was not a single part I liked.

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  • Claudia Pino
  • 07-01-21

Special

An unusual premise, a bittersweet story. I have a renewed appreciation of using time wisely, saying things when they have to be said, and not letting opportunities escape, after reading this book.