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3 Amazing Reasons for Reviewing the Book ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’

Updated: Apr 17

Original Article was published in my Medium Page

Photograph of Book taken from Google Play Books

3 Amazing Reasons for Reviewing the Book ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’

Many of us in our childhood days have fantasized about traveling to the future or rectifying our past mistakes or trying to change situations through a Time Machine. Childhood memories beguiled us about instances after confabulating with our mind, whether we can navigate to the past and watch our history. Many of us may have read the book ‘The Time Machine’, the first novel by H. G. Wells, published in book form in 1895.

Subsequent movies have enlightened our scientific thoughts on moving across generations through the imaginary Time Machines. Today when our rational intellect challenges our imaginations, the emotional mind still loves to travel across years and centuries through the so-called imaginary time machines. I personally do not know if the world will ever see such a technology but humans, who are accelerating their scientific pace may very soon create such machinery.

Toshikazu Kawaguchi was born in Osaka, Japan in 1971. He formerly produced, directed and wrote for the theatrical group Sonic Snail. This particular novel ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’ is adapted from a 1110 Productions play by Kawaguchi, which won the 10th Suginami Drama Festival grand prize.

The mentioned book is written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and it is translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot. The story revolves around a coffee shop named Funiculi Funicula where many characters meet and one of the chairs of that coffee shop has the ability to transport a human to the desired date. However, there are certain rules which govern the human behavior once he/she reaches the desired time. This cafe was famous since it has long queues each day, on account of the time-traveling. But it wasn’t possible to find anyone who had actually gone back in time, because of the extremity of the rules.

The rules are: The only people you can meet while in the past are those who have visited the cafe. There is nothing you can do while in the past that will change the present. Your time will begin from the time the coffee is poured and one must return before the coffee goes cold. You can not leave the seat in which you are sitting during the time travel.

The author beautifully asks this question at the starting of the book:

If you could go back, who would you want to meet

These four stories circles around the characters Fumiko Kiyokawa, Goro Katada, Yaeko Hirai, Kazu Tokita, Kei Tokita, Nagare Tokita, Kohtake, Fusagi, Kumi, Michinori Matsuzawa, Tomako, Miki and other characters.

Toshikazu have beautifully expressed the human emotion through the narration of four stories and each story has a time travel where even though they are not allowed to change the situation, they could say their heart out which makes it one of the most marvelous books showcasing the beautiful relations we share with each other. The moving stories of a young lovers, the human with Alzheimer disease, the story of two sisters and finally the relation and emotion of a mother and her child is sure to make one understand that no matter how difficult the situations may be, we humans have the power to overcome the same.

So, what are those 3 things that motivated me to write a review of this book?

This book reveals through the stories, the intensity of human love and affections, the magnitude of which is vast and beyond words.

The book also provides us with an imaginary feeling, if one has the ability to go to the past, what is that one thing, which you may want to rectify. In this world we often lament for our mistakes through-out our lives and carry a guilt feeling. Through this fiction story the author finally comes out with a positive outcome that no matter what situations we are in, we will always have the strength to overcome it.

The book also showcases that each one of us can get over any emotional circumstances when we understand each other and stand beside each other.

This book has the ability to touch the deep fathoms of one’s mind and deracinate one’s race, colour, ethnicity, religion etc. to dive into the fact that we are all humans and ‘humanity’ is perhaps the only reason, which makes the world a great place to live in.

Before ending, let me quote a few lines from the book:

But Kazu still goes on believing that, no matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them. It just takes heart. And if the chair can change someone’s heart, it clearly has its purpose.

(Excerpts Taken From The Book — Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi)

If I have to rate the book on 10 stars and 10 being the highest, I will give the book 9 stars.

(Please Note: The above are my own personal thoughts after going through the book. Your views and opinions after reading the book may differ)

This is all from me in this article. Hope you have liked my personal thoughts and opinions.

Thanks for visiting the Book Review Website:

Thanks and Regards:

Mainak Majumdar, Book Critic

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