Drama Recaps
Notes on Coffee Prince, the Novel
by | July 13, 2007 | 50 Comments


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I picked up the novel Coffee Prince Store #1 a few days ago and started reading. (Yes, it is only available in Korean, as far as I know.) I don’t usually read novels in Korean, but figured this would be good practice.

A few interesting points:

Chapter 1, titled “Eun Chan’s 25th Hour,” starts off with the question: “Flowers are flowers and trees are trees, but it can get quite confusing. What are you, a flower or a tree?”

Han Gyul is introduced as a “dandy boy.”

Han Gyul has bought Coffee Prince from Mr. Hong, who’s never had success running the cafe. He sent Mr. Hong specifications for a hiring notice, which requires potential part-time workers (males only!) to: have a killer smile, be the type to be popular with older girls, have excellent skills, be single, be over 175cm tall, have a good body. (Eun Chan sees the notice, finds that it’s the perfect job for her, since she meets all the qualifications — except the gender part.)

Eun Chan has a good-looking, boyish face that the girls love. She doesn’t like being called “oppa” despite that the neighborhood girls like to follow her around. She’s so popular with the girls that they pick numbers to stand by to wait for her. Buuuut… as I’m only through chapter 1, I’m not positive if all those girls know she’s a she. I would assume they do. But they call her “oppa” (in fun) anyway. It’s a weird situation, that’s for sure.

Eun Sae, always getting in trouble for ditching school to go on singing auditions, is the type to do well at home but choke in the actual audition performance, and thus has not yet been successful.

Mr. Gu, the butcher, is a failed poet who writes verses about meat (and meat-related life issues). Ha!

Eun Chan loves nothing more than meat. She drools at the thought of it, and when eating, blocks out everything else. Even other “important” issues are pushed to the side with thoughts of food, which always dance around in the back of her mind. The only two things in the world that can rouse her from the stupor induced by food are her mother and her sister.

50 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Fiona

    hi, just wanted to comment…i fell in love with your writing after reading the summaries of que sera sera! in fact, i think i like reading the summaries more than watching the drama itself! oops. =] but right now, im anxiously waiting for the episode summaries for coffee prince!
    and i love the song of the days because i find it the perfect way to get exposed to music i’ve never heard of. anyway…
    the novel sounds a little different from the drama since in the drama, Han Gyul was forced into working whereas in the novel, he buys the store on his own accord (or no?).

  2. javabeans

    Fiona, I’m expecting the novel to be different (or, rather, the drama to depart from the novel), but I’m not sure of Han Gyul’s backstory yet as I haven’t read Chapter 2 (“Han Gyul’s 25th Hour”) which may go back and explain how he came to buy the shop. We shall see. 🙂

  3. secret admirer

    You know, this is what makes your blog SOOOOOO much cooler than all of the others out there about K-Dramas : it’s the little things that you put into them. First, it’s the music introducing us to the world of K-pop. Now, it’s the story behind the show. I don’t want the series to faithfully follow the book. That would be boring (..kinda like Harry Potter :)) – it’s an adaptation not word-by-word storytelling. But by letting us know about the novel, you help to make it more amusing for viewers since they understand more about the characters and can pick out little nuances that will be missed without having read the book (hope that this sentence makes sense!) Now, that scene of EC eating meat off the floor had me laughed aloud in a different way then just from being “grossed out” from her actions. These characters from Coffeee Prince are just so adorable and quirky. Looking forward to reading more excerpts from the novel. Thank you, javabeans.

  4. Eve

    huh the book sounds quite interesting.

  5. Philippa

    I wish that I can read Korean! That sounds soooo cool! I wish that they have in English. That would be great! I’m seriously going to read it, because I loveeeee reading fictions! lol.

  6. minilover

    you are so quick on drama summary and now with the actual novel. thank you so much for your hard work. Like many already mentioned, I love that you put music with every summary. I read your blog almost everyday but not yet said “thank you” so here you go, keep up the good work. many of us really enjoy your blog..thanks

  7. Mentality

    Oh. I so wish there was an english version. The story sounds like the type I would love already. Sadly, novels don’t get translated much. Manhwas.. I would have a chance of seeing a translated version -one day- but novels are usually a 0% chance thing. How depressing.
    Thank you for your notes! I really wish they would show the Eun Chan popularity thing in the drama, that would’ve made it more hilarious. Showing that she is suchhhh a popular “oppa”.

  8. n

    The books sounds cute. The drama seems to have inserted the kdrama standard formula on top of the book’s premise.

  9. Roudy

    Hi.. you are the first to read for .. and honstly I really like your way of writing your samary. it makes me feel like reading the story with a cup of coffee in a cafe that resembles Coffee Prince Cafe.
    I hope you can develop this talent of yours into somthing promising ( the art of getting people hooked by your way of telling a story).
    thanks & wish to read 4 you more..

  10. 10 Bamidele

    How I wish there was an english version, but at least we have have you Javabeans to make up for the gap ^__^, I already thought the book would be different, thanks for letting us know more about this show. Your blog stands out among the masses!!!

  11. 11 Turtlegirl21

    Good Luck on pacticing your Korean reading with this novel. I really enjoy your summaries, and I hope you will keep us updated on the novel also. Thanks for all that you do!

  12. 12 Sharon

    Haha it’s a funny coincidence because my mom also bought the Coffee Prince the novel when she went out yesterday! She’s halfway done, I believe, and I keep asking her “what happens?!” and she goes and to tease me and say, “Why don’t you learn to read Korean yourself and find out?” Sigh. Moms. And that’s why I am so thankful that you are giving us some info from the book!

  13. 13 gail

    thank you javabeans for this post over-and-beyond the call of duty. 🙂 this just adds to our enjoyment of the drama.

  14. 14 its_trish

    showing my appreciation

  15. 15 ktv

    Your recap of Eun Chan’s 25th hours sounds so interesting. I’m looking forward to reading your next recap about Han Gyul. Do they have any web that has this novel in English. I am so eager to read it. Once again, thanks for your summary and keep up your good job.

  16. 16 jaephin

    Thanks for the prelude to the novel!! Hope you’ll be able to finish it up soon and give us more points to look out for future watching~^^~!

  17. 17 Acey

    I just ordered the book from the local Korean store – I bet I can’t read more than a few words here and there but if I’m going to try to read anything (beyond comic books) I figure I may as well try with this!

  18. 18 LW

    I agreed with Mentality, I also wish that this book is available in English – it looks like the books that I like to read 🙂

    I also would like to thank you for providing summaries of latest k-drama – since I can’t watch it online (me have to wait for ages to get the dvd), your dramas summaries are the best thing for me to “watch” online ^^

  19. 19 yakatoo

    thanks so much! sure wish this came in an english version, but glad can “read” the book through you. looking forward to the next few chapters… 😀

  20. 20 Eunice

    your summaries and music are great!
    thank you so much for all your hard work
    i love coffee prince and i’ve uploaded some videos in youtube too
    i was just wondering, do they sell
    coffee prince the novel in the US or just korea since its written in korean??
    if i can get it in the US will it be easy to find it like at borders of barnes and nobles?
    i would really like to find it and read it.
    if you know where to get it please contact me
    THANKS!! 😀

  21. 21 dragonpoop

    the novel sounds really interesting =) hope you continue writing about it! thanks! [i really love your site= =)

  22. 22 tennesee_iris

    thank you very much… like the rest of the comments your blog is really cool… i also do hope i could read korean then i would get the opportunity to read the actual novel, i love coffee prince, and i’m so thankful that i am able to understand the series all because of you… a million thanks… i look forward reading more of your summaries and all..

  23. 23 Phuong

    Hallo there
    This is my first comment in your blog. I love this entry about “Coffee Prince” novel. You are really lucky that you could read it. Ah, I’m wondering could you post more other details about the story?
    Thax lots in advance ^^

  24. 24 doris_p

    hi javabeans!! really am glad to have found your site, and this days reading your blog is like my cup of coffee everyday that I can’t do without! Besides watching k-dramas I also love reading books and how I wish now I could read in Korean to also enjoy the coffee prince novel but am glad you’re there to ‘read’ the book for us……really looking forward for more excerpts from the books….hope you could also include in your blog an item like ‘word-of-the-day’, like a korean word a day with it’s english translation that were usually heard in the k-dramas coz I’m sure am not the only k-dramas ‘addict’ now who wish that we can also speak and read in Korean to enjoy k-dramas more…..coz usually the dvd’s I can bought here in my country (philippines) has a poor english subs which making my head ache that it’s taking away the joy of watching the k-dramas….many many thanks for all your efforts in making us non-speaking-korean-population enjoy these now so very famous k-dramas and also to learn some of your korean cultures….more power and hugs and kisses to you…..thank you, thank you, thank you!

  25. 25 tai

    that book sounds so interesting… i wish i could read korean… *sob* *sob*

  26. 26 catinmyfridge

    I actually think this novel can do well if it was translated into English. I’m surprised no one is thinking that way in Korea. Maybe first Korean novel to achieve mainstream success in English speaking countries? maybe they can hire Javabeans for the translation? 🙂

  27. 27 kat

    I love the summaries. they’re really gd and detailed.
    by the way, do u know where 2 get the novel online(Korean is okay)?

  28. 28 tuesdhei

    now i’m curious about that book… i wish there’s an english version of it since i’m still learning to read and speak korean — urgh… but thanks for sharing…

  29. 29 Beng

    Who’s the publisher of the book? Maybe we can request to print it in English?

  30. 30 mcl2008

    Hi ^^. I love your summaries — they are great! I would love to read the manhwa of Coffee Prince (if only they were translated :'(
    The music selection you have up with each blog is great as well. 😀

  31. 31 Xen

    I like reading your reviews. I like your comments as well! Btw is there any way that we can read the whole book in english? Love the songs, the book and your writing!

  32. 32 mightyafrodity

    how many chapters are there? i forgot.

  33. 33 Geeko

    A different beginning from the TV-drama~but If only I knew korean,a language difficult to pronounce for me 🙁
    ps:your blog is very delicate and awesome,Like it !!

  34. 34 Cartman

    who’s the author again? 😀

  35. 35 javabeans

    mightyafrodity, there are 20 chapters. Cartman, author is Lee Sun Mi.

  36. 36 iriai

    may I ask where you got the book in korean? It sounded as if you just walked into a store and bought it instead of overseas.

  37. 37 javabeans

    iriai, i happened to get it from a korean bookstore in the states. but you can buy it online from hanbooks.com.

  38. 38 ikran

    hi thank for all ur hard work i reading coffee prince the novel woo its so cool

  39. 39 CASEY

    It’s a beautiful song!!

  40. 40 yoo

    woo ! beautiful story! I like it!

  41. 41 tong

    Wonderful! So beautiful

  42. 42 sherrvonn

    thanks so much!
    i hope it will be publish in english…

  43. 43 jia

    hey, i’m a fan of coffee prince as well..i wonder if they have an ENGLISH translated version of that NOVEL you’re telling about..coz i really want to read that one, just that I don’t know korean language..if u know where i can get it, pls email me.thanks! and thanks for the summaries, love it!

  44. 44 Daniaa

    Dear all~

    Talking about the novel – I found a translated version of this novel on Xanga.


    It doesn’t follow the drama much, the novel stands on its own. You see Han Kyul having a sister, a fight regarding Dong Yi Group…

    It pays to read the novel, I smiled and laughed alone and A LOT while reading it onscreen. If anyone here wants the translated version – seeing I am useless in Korean and have to find translated stuff anyway – try browsing around for Coffee Prince (the ID of the profile) on Xanga. You’re bound to find it.

    Have fun!

  45. 45 victoria

    oh, i have a copy of this book, but in mandarin. 🙂 i’m glad u did a recap of the novel as well since im not really good in my mandarin. and i love your site! keep it up!

  46. 46 sujeong

    i have this book~
    it is quite good~!!!

  47. 47 Norma

    Do you know if there’s a place where I can download the book in Korean? I’m learning the language and I would like to read this book.

    Thanks a lot in advance

  48. 48 Raisa

    hii!! i’m currently reading this book… its been years since i saw this drama, and i must say its one of my faves dramas of all times!
    i casually found the book translated in english on http://www.scribd.com if anyone wants to download it and read it.. its really good.. i havent finished it.. but i will tomorrow!! thaxs for the recaps anyways!
    i loove all your recaps!! you have a unique way of writting!
    *thumbs up*!
    you rock girl 😀

    • 48.1 avarachika

      Thanks for the link, but what is it title as on that site.

  49. 49 lovely_asia

    wooo ,escribiré en español …muchas gracias por los resumenes de los doramas y peliculas que escribes…realmente me encanta leer ,y encontrar esta pagina fue realmente genial ….muchas gracias…

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