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The Death of Mungo Blackwell

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Blackwells are a family with an extraordinary history and astounding traditions, which include attending their own funerals before they die! Their ways are questionable and their stories about deceased relatives are as bold as their red hair, but it is their eclectic wares that keep tourists coming back to their market in the town of Coraloo. Charlie Price, whose world ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 18th 2019 by Lion Fiction (first published October 2019)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Lauren Brandenburg
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: lovely-reads
Finding your own book on Goodreads is such a lovely thing! And because The Death of Mungo Blackwell is my MOST FAVORITE thing I've ever written (I mean, this book gives me joy just thinking about it), I had to give it FIVE STARS! *****

And as the author, I thought of a few things you should know:

1. While many of the incidents in this novel are based on our own experiences with financial loss in 2008, I DID NOT throw macarons at the forclosure agent... however I was hosting a ladies event in my
Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one that fell in love with the blurb. I mean, the whole funeral before dying bit intrigue me and I couldn’t wait until I dived into this read. Needless to say that was the only exciting part about this release. The story was sloooooow going and I found my found either dozing off or skimming pages to find something, anything to draw me back into the read. And what did I find? Nada. Zilch. I almost dropped this novel a number of times but was able to pull
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This book is available for purchase now.

Peculiar, but highly entertaining, this is one that I’d file under “cozy books”.” After an incident involving a food truck leaves Charlie Price jobless, he moves to small Coraloo with his wife and son. They find themselves thrown in the middle of a feud between two old families: the Tofts and the Blackwells.

What originally drew me to the book was the part of the
Suzie Waltner
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unique and unconventional, The Death of Mungo Blackwell has its moments of fantasy (pirate kinds, pygmies, and a curse are all parts of the Blackwell history that reads like a tall tale). Yet Lauren H. Brandenburg also examines two areas of life that everyone can relate to on one level or another: failure and change.

When Charlie Price loses his VP job, his family moves from the city to the town of Coraloo in search of a simpler life. But change is rarely easy and failure casts a longer shadow
Emma's Things to Read
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! The characters are quickly but instantly engaging. It's funny and entertaining and relatable. A gem of a book
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We must all fall in order to find what makes us happy.

Charlie Price is living one of his worst nightmares. After a major professional mistake, he has lost his high-paying job. His wife and son can't have the same life anymore. Now, he must find another way to make ends meet. And that's how he finds Coraloo.

Since they can't afford life at the city anymore, the Price family moves to Coraloo: a small, strange village with a street market that's known for the antiques people can find. Charlie is
Spencer Hyde
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful! Brandenburg so carefully balances desire and defeat, confusion and contentment. The characters are so well rendered, with a fitting history as a backdrop for tradition and nostalgia that lives on in a small flea market. This market is a nice contrast to the big city where there is still longing, yet no hope. Charlie and Velveteen each find their own way to understanding that the only real hope is with Gideon in their small Toft home and with less money but more time. ...more
Tama Fortner
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Death of Mungo Blackwell is the refreshingly quirky new title from debut novelist Lauren Brandenburg. When a food-poisoning food truck incident causes banker Charlie Price to lose his job, he decides a change of both location and career is just what’s needed. But when Charlie and his wife, Velveteen, move to the tiny town of Coraloo, nothing is as they expected it to be. Plopped into the middle of a centuries old feud between the Blackwells and the Tofts, Charlie and Velveteen scramble to ...more
Amy Willoughby-Burle
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the truly unique books out there. It's quirky and heartwarming and downright funny. THEN, you totally see yourself in one of the characters and whoa, this book is suddenly deep as well. It's about starting over and finding your joy. It's a cast of characters that you will totally fall in love with. You'll not forget this world anytime soon!
Oct 17, 2019 added it
Shelves: giveaway-s
A thoroughly engaging story! I look forward to revisiting Coraloo in the next book. The wonderful front cover and the intriguing title caught my eye and the description made me want to read The Death of Mumbo Blackwell by Lauren H. Brandenburg. While the actual story differed a bit from what I had expected, I was not disappointed at all. I really enjoyed this book and found myself thinking about the story and characters when I was not reading it. They really stick in your heart and mind. I found ...more
Katarína Laurošková
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I've started this book in expectation of a mild Halloween read. The name of the book and even the cover slightly suggest something thrilling. However, I was far from the truth. This book feels more like movies people enjoy during the Christmas holidays. A family-oriented, little bit of drama and satisfying ending.

The book tells us a story of a wealthy family, who suddenly looses almost everything. They need to come to terms with their new "simple" lifestyle, no unnecessary spending and ruin of
Corinne Anderson
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I discovered this book after connecting with the author Lauren H. Brandenburg. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. This book was interesting and unlike many of the books I have been reading. It mixed the innocence of childhood magic with the complete corruption of failure as an adult. The story line follows Charlie Price, a recently fired NY Executive, and his family through their downsizing and ultimate self-reflection on what is important.

While I
A.C. Williams
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
When the high-society, city-slicker Price family loses everything in a food truck investment gone sour (literally), they embrace the idea of “the simple life” by moving into a teeny tiny cottage in Coraloo, a peculiar town where the rambunctious Blackwell family maintains a long-standing feud with the surly Toft family, Hatfield and McCoy style. Charlie Price, wife Velveteen, and son Gideon plunge from the highest levels of social achievement to the daily grind and uncertainty of do-it-yourself ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

The title and gorgeous cover art are what initially drew me in to this story. After reading the description, I was even more intrigued. The story though was different than what I was expecting. While I found parts of the story to be a bit slow going, it still was a heart-warming story of a loving, seemingly normal family that faces major lifestyle changes after their circumstances change. The
David Bulitt
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be fair, “The Death of Mungo Blackwell” is not usually a book that I would pick off the shelf but when a friend recommended it, I thought I would give it a read and, in a bit of a surprise, I really enjoyed it. The characters are unique and well developed and the riches to rags story was quite engaging. I very much enjoyed the portions of the story that were set in the past. Additionally, the author does an excellent job of weaving humor throughout the story, even in the face of her ...more
Kristin Greathouse
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of love and redemption with a little bit of quirky fun thrown in! It was very easy to read. I found myself carving out time in my day to read it so I didn’t have to put it down very often. Lauren has a way of storytelling that flows so easily you can’t help but be drawn in. (I laugh every time I picture macarons flying through the air aimed straight at that delivery man!) If Coraloo actually existed, it would be on my bucket list of places to visit - especially the market. I ...more
Shruti Ramanujam
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
While the synopsis of this book suggests a quirky read about an extraordinary family, the actual story is about the Prices and how they learn about life, love, and contentment from the Blackwells. It wasn't quite as darkly funny as one would assume from the synopsis, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless!

Read the entire review on This is Lit.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Having a funeral before you die is a nice idea,and it's what drew me to this book.
But it's actually such a small part of the story.
Told in a humorous mostly way ,it's a sweet tale of family from the city in much reduced circumstances moving to the country and the eccentric family they meet there... along with that family's history.
I can see this on the screen,the market would be a superb backdrop to things.
Charming book.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
More like 4 1/2 stars actually
Csimplot Simplot
Excellent book!!!
LaDonna Skidmore Crawford
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Heartwarming, funny, didn’t want to put it down! Great message of overcoming hardship. Would read again!
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
A light, heart-warming story of a loving family facing major upheavals in their lifestyle following a significant change of circumstances. It's a light, easy read with a humorous tone.
Unfortunately I found the story slow going. The summary of the book implied there would be more to it. The characters of the Price family were difficult to engage with. Over all a pleasant book but nothing special.Descended
I received a free review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and
David Bulitt
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To be fair, "The Death of Mungo Blackwell" is not the genre that I would usually read but when a friend recommended it I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. This is a very well written riches to rags type of story in which the author skillfully provides depth to her characters. I really enjoyed the toggling back and forth in time, something the author does in a seamless way.
This is a unique story and I highly recommend it!
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Lauren H. Brandenburg is a mentor, speaker, and author who happily blurs the lines between traditional genres in both middle grade and humorous family fiction. She has currently written six of the ten books in The Books of the Gardener Series--Orlo: The Chosen (#4) was a finalist for the Selah Award middle grade novel of the year. The Death of Mungo Blackwell, a humorous family fiction (Lion ...more
“Who’s to say we aren’t dead until we learn what we are living
for?” Stephen placed his hands behind his head and leaned back casually in the folding camping chair. “We all need to know what’s missing in our lives. At a funeral people say everything a person has accomplished in their life, but what if they missed something? What if there was one thing you never realized you needed to do? What if you had a chance to go back and do it?”
“Friend, you need to believe in something much bigger than yourself. You have to let go.” 0 likes
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