Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi

There's one question that runs through this book - what would you do if you could go back back in time, who would you meet? It's the question facing the four different characters and one that will undoubtedly cross the reader's mind. But this is not a time travelling adventure. It's a more a story where characters face up to their regrets, relationships and to things lost. A simply told, beautiful story of four parts, set in a Tokyo cafe.

Extract

The cafe's name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, on account of the time-travelling. But it wasn't possible to find anyone who had actually gone back in time, because of the extremely annoying rules that had to be followed. The first rule was: The only people you can meet while in the past are those who have visited the cafe. This would usually defeat the purpose of going back. Another rule was: There is nothing you can do while in the past that will change the present. The cafe was asked why that rule existed, but their only comment was that they didn't know.
As the author of the article was unable to find anyone who had actually visited the past, whether or not it was actually possible to go back in time remained a mystery.

Parallels
  • Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce