Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ★★★☆☆

Reading for A Very Merry Readathon

I first heard about this book on Ariel Bissett’s Youtube channel. It sounded like an obscure book but one right up my alley. It is about a coffee shop where you can travel anywhere in time, but you have to be back before the coffee gets cold. This is the only book I intend to read physically (versus over audio). It is yet another time travel story. That makes 4 books with time-travel related premises. Needless to say, I am psyched for this one; I love me some time travel.

Update 12/22/19

A Very Merry Readathon has not gone as well as I hoped. I think I started this before it ended, but I definitely didn’t finish it. I am working on it though!

Update 12/31/19

This book took me longer than I wanted to finish. I big part of that was simply time management related. However, the book has been a bit of a let down. I did enjoy it. The book was warmhearted, and at times it even got to me on an emotional level. That is usually a very important thing I want from books. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to save this book for me.

I didn’t care for the writing. It may be because it was translated. That said, I found out it was adapted from a play, so maybe the structure and writing problems are that it just wasn’t developed to be a novel. The problem continues with the situations which go from being problematic to staged. That is to say, the situations don’t feel natural. Some of the character motivations were questionable. Again, this may be cultural.

Lastly, I read a lot of time travel stories. The time travel mechanic here was convoluted, convenient and inconsistent. You can’t change the past, but really they mean, you can’t change your memory of the past. First off, going changes things, even if it isn’t to the extent the author wants to pretend is somehow significant. Secondly, the author conveniently has a well known magic shop that is simultaneously mostly ignored because “it’s hard” to actually time travel. The whole concept is so contrived. His rules are often broken or the rules we think exist become conveniently twisted such that he obeys the word of the rule, if not the spirit. That isn’t a twist, its just lazy writing in my opinion.

Clearly, I have a lot of complaints. I love time travel for a reason, so I know what I like. That said, it was still enjoyable and emotional. That’s why I wouldn’t say I dislike the book. 3.5/5 stars.

2 Replies to “Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ★★★☆☆”

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