Coffee Without a Filter
Original title: Café sans filtre
Jean-Philippe Blondel always succeeds in embracing his contemporaries with persistent tenderness. And from behind established clichés, the depth of their personalities are revealed. — The Literary Figaro
Jean-Philippe Blondel likes to narrate the lives of the provincial middle classes, which he observes from the inside with humor and tenderness. — France Info
Friendship, family, life choices: feelings and sociology go hand in hand under his modest and harmonious pen. — L’Express
A novel that celebrates the magic setting of a French cafe. Jean-Philippe Blondel has the gift of cracking open unique and intensely human destinies.
The re-opening of cafes
July 2021. Bars and restaurants are just starting to reopen after several months of an enforced shutdown. At Chez Tom’s, a typical village cafe in Province, customers and waiters get together to chat and confide with each other. The entire novel takes place in this intimate setting.
A cast of wonderful characters
Nine characters are featured, four of whom are central to the story: there’s thirty-year-old Chloe who sits at the back of the cafe with a notebook and pencil in her hand; Jocelyne, the former owner, now retired, who has taken Fabrice, the new owner, under her wing, and Jose, the waiter, who dreams of being elsewhere. Among the customers a mother and son argue, a man awaits his childhood friend who he was secretly in love with during adolescence, and a woman bumps into her ex-partner who abandoned her in Australia seven years earlier. So many life paths to create an intensely human and contemporary fresco.
A polyphonic work
In this chorus novel each character unravels the thread of their existence; their failed dreams and how they envisage their lives afterwards. A cafe, a place for meeting and for anonymity, is perfect for intimate conversations and other eventualities. And the need for it is greater than ever.