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Publisher's 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

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What listeners say about Before the Coffee Gets Cold

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Simple and Sweet

Great weekend listen! Will make you want to appreciate your life a little more.

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    3 out of 5 stars

An interesting take on time travel

I picked up this book because of its intriguing plot around time travel and also hoping to read more on Japanese life - after being swayed by Pachinko. While the book didn't do justice to touching on Japanese culture or life, the time travel bit of the story was decent.

I liked the way the author simplified the rules of time travel and focused on how it might impact you rather than changing anything else. It touched upon how letting go or accepting things can lead to so much positivity to your future. The story dealt with loss, relationship, hope, anxiety and it packaged everything quite well especially using a twist of time travel. Some parts like repeated apparation for the time travel could have been avoided to make it more crisp, but all in all a decent one time read. The Audible experience was really good.

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A sweet little gem

I came across this book through a random scroll and decided to go for it. It's a unique plot and the progress of the story is smooth. The book starts off very well and the author does a very good job of voice modulation to bring out the various characters. The theme of the book is time travel but without any complicated logic behind it. The overall premise tells you that you need to live in the present, no matter how the past went, but your actions will impact your future. Also people and relationships are precious, value them and keep the ego away. Life will not be what we expect it to be, but it can go in the direction we decide to take it.

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Listen.

I am amazed at how it made a full circle.
Brilliant Story.
Fun to hear to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 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.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Atkinson
  • 26-09-19

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 23-05-20

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

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  • alice
  • 20-12-19

Great story - read very slowly

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jamie Hoy
  • 25-02-21

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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  • Frieda
  • 31-12-20

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-11-20

A great listen

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

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  • Tanea Sheils
  • 15-11-20

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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  • Dave
  • 08-09-20

Stick at it

During the first chapter I wondered whether to give up. However, the story develops quite intriguingly by the end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-09-20

Clever

Beautiful story. Worth reading! Lends to a lot of wonderful discussions, especially if read in a book club. Recommend!

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  • MRS C
  • 06-07-20

Disappointing

This is such an interesting concept for a story but such a shame it was very poorly executed. The performance was not engaging.
The rest of our book club felt the same way.

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  • Paul Watkins
  • 08-11-20

Don't hesitate. download it now!

took the first chapter ro get into it, but OMG once into it, the thoughts and teats flowed. an absolutely extraordinary book. At the end you will wish it carried on. Makes you think and appreciate life. I can't recommend it highly enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-11-19

Beautiful

Absolutely loved it.


"No matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them, it just takes heart."

1 person found this helpful