Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

July 02, 20234 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Kawaguchi’s Before the coffee gets cold is simple in its prose and storyline, but speaks volumes if you let it seep into you. Reading each word slowly, you can feel the emotion wash over you.

The storyline is simple, a forgotten café cosy with only a few seats earned a humble infamy for allowing customers to visit the past. However, this infamy also came and went, until that too was forgotten and only a few people frequented the café.

The novel is structured in lives of a few characters who through circumstance, wish to travel in time. There are a litany of rules to follow, and the most damning is that nothing you do changes the present. Despite this, we see that it does indeed change things.

One can criticise that nothing objectively happened, but that’s missing the point.

“The present hadn’t changed—but those two people had. Both Kohtake and Hirai returned to the present with a changed heart.”

You can take it as a metaphor that a change in perspective is often more important and reliable than trying to change the past.

Read on 28th June 2023

Spoilers below:

Subscribe to my newsletter

I'll occasionally send you my writing, and things I've found interesting


Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

Leave a comment!

No comments yet.

© 2023, Built with ❤️ on Gatsby