Before the Coffee Gets Cold

A Novel

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

On Sale: 11/17/2020

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Enlarge Book Cover

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

A Novel

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

On Sale: 11/17/2020


About the Book



If you could go back, who would you want to meet?In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café 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.

Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn’t so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most important, the trip can last only as long as it takes for the coffee to get cold.

Heartwarming, wistful, mysterious and delightfully quirky, Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s internationally bestselling novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?

Critical Praise

"Before the Coffee Gets Cold... may explore similar ground to its predecessors in the genre, but it inventively limits the mechanics of its time travel to the confines of a small cafe, and is all the more resonant for it... the narrative is deeply moving." -Chicago Review of Books

"Heartwarming, quirky, and wistful." -Huffpost

"A charming novel about a mysterious Japanese coffee shop in which customers who sit in a certain chair can go back in time - but just while their coffee is cooling." -Star Tribune

"Kawaguchi... 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." -The Christian Science Monitor

"By cleverly weaving fantastic strands into what turns out to be an entertaining tale... Kawaguchi builds suspense from scene to scene, carefully selecting his narrative clues." -The Arts Fuse

"The story is gold. Before the Coffee Gets Cold is perfect for anyone who wants to feel connected right now." -BookReporter

"Before the Coffee Gets Cold is able to create pathos for the characters who yearn in earnest to change the past... Check out Kawaguchi’s work if you fancy a break from the inescapable reality of the pandemic." -The Mancunion

"Toshikazu lays out a system of time travel that is unconvoluted and beautifully simple... This charmingly magical novel is about discovering happiness despite the pasts that we desperately want to revisit." -The Harvard Crimson

"An affecting, deeply immersive journey into the desire to hold onto the past. This wondrous tale will move readers." -Publishers Weekly
"This is a sweet, fable-like tale about a magical seat in a cafe where you can, if you wish, go back in time… An odd read, but also a charming one."  
The Sydney Morning Herald
“A story about human relationships, missed opportunities and the enduring power of love.”
The Gryphon
"A thought-provoking and at times tear-jerking realization about what we would say if we could go back in time.”
“It is full of soul, presented through clever world building and unfolding of its characters and relationships.”
Books and Bao -

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781335430991
  • ISBN 10: 1335430997
  • Imprint: Hanover Square Press
  • On Sale: 11/17/2020
  • Pages: 272
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Magical Realism
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Science Fiction / General
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Fantasy / General
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Literary

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