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Jack Tumor

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Hector is being hectored by an unlikely bully: a talking brain tumor. And it’s not just a talking brain tumor. It’s a know-it-all, pain-in-the-arse, jibber-jabbering brain tumor that names itself Jack, and insists on coaching Hector through life even as it’s threatening to take his life away. It’s a pretty good coach, actually. With Jack in control of Hector’s speech and b ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."

Here is a book that will make you laugh and cry. Sometimes on the same page. For those that do snore, don't worry, it's a page-turner, so you can stay up all night reading!

There's a special place in my heart for Henry Tumour. I first read it back when I was almost the same age as Hector, the narrator of the story. I felt an immediate affinity with him, as we were both having far more success in mathematics than with those myserious
Ringo The Cat
Mar 30, 2011 Ringo The Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, young-adult
One of the coolest ideas (a talking brain tumor) and definitely one of the coolest opening words for any book: Arsecheese. The tone is set: we get deliciously vulgar ( thought often decidedly man-) humour as well as unpredictable scenes featuring Hector Brundy – your typical nerdgeek who’s into comic books, Star Trek as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That last part definitely won over the cat.
Henry Tumour is a sensitive tale about growing up, and making the best of things, despite your shortc
Miss Ryoko
Jun 15, 2013 Miss Ryoko rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This looks an awful lot like David Henrie on the cover. Aww, how I miss Wizards of Waverly Place!

I picked this book up at the library book sale a while back because the synopsis sounded hilarious... a talking brain tumor!? How could I pass that up. What really surprised me was how touching this book actually was. Now, don't get me wrong, it definitely had it's hilarious moments, but I found it to be moving as well.

I really loved Hector Brunty as a character. Not only was he nerdy but he was so h
Jan 31, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
Difficult to think of a book about a boy and his brain tumor as funny, but this one really is. Hector, who's been having rather severe headaches, starts hearing a voice. Not just any voice, it's the voice of Jack... Jack Tumor (who TALKS LIKE DEATH if you know what I mean).

Jack's funny at times, cranky at others. It's sort of like Heck's subconscious but better - at one point (and I'm paraphrasing here) Jack admits that he has access to everything in Hector's brain, including stuff he doesn't kn
Feb 03, 2015 Haley rated it it was amazing
In an overflowing, smelly, terribly lit save-a-lot I came across 'Jack Tumor'. Whilst looking at another book that didn't really interest me, I knocked over Anthony McGowan's masterpiece. One look at the first word, Arsecheese, I was sold. I took it home, not thinking much of it. Little did I know that this crude, hilarious, and beautifully insightful novel would change my life forever. Pretty amazing for an accident, right? Perhaps it was Hector Brunty, the humorous and very humanized character ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I really will never learn. How many times have I picked up a book I knew was going to be funny-beyond- belief, and read it on the train! After snorting with laughter very loudly on a train jam packed with people, this strictly became a read-at-home-only book. And this is one seriously funny book. The premise is simple. Hector discovers he has a brain tumour. Its name is Henry. And it talks to him, gives him advice and generally keeps him company. Whether Hector likes it are not.

The story is supe
Robert Weinstein
Apr 07, 2015 Robert Weinstein rated it really liked it
I'd really give this a four and a half stars. It's not often you read a book that makes you feel bad for the tumor that's killing the protagonist but Mr. McGowan has done just that. The symbiotic relationship between the boy and his tumor works because McGowan gives 'Jack' a real personality: smart, supportive, vulnerable and - yes - reasonable. He (the tumor) knows what he is. He also knows the effect he has on the boy. He also knows he wants to live. It's a great idea and it plays out in a won ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, teen, ajpl, 2010
I have to admit this book read kind of like a NaNoWriMo novel. I'm not saying that in a bad way. Just that the voice of the protagonist lends it to the type of writer who has a word count to fulfill or who gets paid by the sentence. There is a lot of extra stuff here. Do I really care about the Battle of the Fish and Chips Shops? Not really. But the way the author puts himself in the head of the main character, it's obvious that Heck cares about it, or at least has that flotsam floating around i ...more
Oct 21, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely hysterical book about a boy with a brain tumour. It shouldn't be funny, but it ABSOLUTELY is! I mean, what author would be MAD enough to start their book with the heading and firts line "ARSECHEESE" I ask you! Of course, it's Anthony McGowan.

I love the way this novel unravels, drawing the reader ever deeper into the insanity that Henry's tumour causes him while he grapples with what this means to his life. It's like his inner monologue has read all of his Negative Thoughts and is e
Feb 03, 2016 Louisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the cover fool you. This is no Paul Jennings (not that I have anything against Paul Jennings). My point is, it's a little heavier than the cartoon cover might suggest. Yes, it is funny. Yes, it is about a teenage boy. Yes, it is set predominnantly in a school. Good for young teenage boys then? Maybe and maybe not. It is also about a boy who has a brain tumour: one that talks to him and controls his behaviour. So the theme of death and dieing, while it is dealt with in an unsual way, is ...more
Jun 06, 2009 Georgia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humour
Recommended to Georgia by: I got it in my school library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Bruesewitz
Mar 06, 2012 Ryan Bruesewitz rated it really liked it
Jack Tumor is a very interseting, but also a little sad novel. The novel is about a young teen in Britain named Henry and his troubles in his school with bullies, friends, girls, and above all his brain tumor. Hector quickly learns about his brain tumor, who prefers to be called "Jack", but Jack knows that he and Henry dont have much time (because he's still a deadly brain tumor), and strives to make the best of his stay in the boy's head. Jack claims to know and can access everything that has e ...more
Meeeriams Fleep
Jun 06, 2011 Meeeriams Fleep rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meeeriams by: nobody
Shelves: cherishable
I have to admit I left this story three quarters of the way through becasue it was so depressing towarsds the end, HOWEVER..I did read lots of spoilers and whatever I may have initially thought about this story, I do not hesitatae for a moment to declare its absolute FANTASTIC BRILLIANCE, which I do suppose was highly influenced by reading McGowan's other book, Hellbent. Its surprisingly funny for such a depressingly sad topic, and had me cringing at times, laughing out loud, as well as being da ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Andersreads rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This is a funny, realistic book about a 14-year-old boy who is being tested for brain cancer. As the novel begins, he starts to hear a voice in his head that he calls Jack Tumor (hence the title). The novel is set in England, so along with a lot of British slang (is snogging what I think it is?) it creates a picture of school life in England. It seems surprisingly similar to American high schools, except that the bullying is much more pervasive. I enjoyed this book and would give it a 9 out of 1 ...more
Jun 24, 2009 Marisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: boybooks, ya
Very cute, funny boy book. Unfortunately, the most inappropriate-likely-to-offend-somewhat-conservative parents, moment occurs in the first five or so pages of the book. Kind of limits who I can recommend to. Bummer. Matt said he read another book by the same author that's a retelling of Dante's Inferno, and that it was also very funny but slightly inappropriate. (That was a really bad sentence, sorry, in a hurry.) We don't seem to own it, though...
May 26, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-fiction
from the author of Hellbent. Hilarious, sad and romantic all at the same time. About a boy who gets a brain tumor. A talking brain tumor. That starts taking over his life, by insisting that his only reason for existence is to perpetuate his genes. You know what that might mean! The protagonist from Hellbent makes a cameo.
Aug 09, 2009 Caren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Quirky plot, but more depth than first appears. Good teen read. (Original British title "Henry Tumour", a play on the name's similarity to Henry Tudor.) The author says the relationship between Henry (the tumor) and Hector (his host) mimics that of Prince Hal and Falstaff in Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part I". The plot involves the battle between id and ego, pleasure and principle.
Harun Harahap
Tidak ada cara yang lebih baik dalam menuliskan tumor otak secara komedi selain buku ini. Sedih juga tapi gimana yah..bisa dilewatkan dengan tersenyum. Tapi tetep sediiiihhh... *eaaa teteup*

Tau deh ah..
Shealyn Reilly
Sep 11, 2010 Shealyn Reilly rated it liked it
This book was actually pretty funny. I think the story was a little weird, but it was still enjoyable. I wasn't sure if I'd like this book or not because of the way it was written, but it was alright :)
Apr 18, 2013 Alisa rated it it was amazing
I wasn't expecting to like this book, but it was amazing. It was funny in the strange teenage boy way, and I got very attached to the main character and his friends. I recommend this book to anybody who reads John Green or any funny, heartwarming books because that was exactly what this book was.
Adam Cabuk
This was a really funny book, though i think that making a comdey book out of a killing illness like a brain tumour is a bit sad but it was a good comdey.
Jul 24, 2011 Jessi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
I have never laughed so hard in a public library before in my entire life.
Daniel Z.
Oct 06, 2013 Daniel Z. rated it it was amazing
very humorous book with a cool plot and a good ending
Apr 13, 2016 Stargazer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenagers
Loved it. Wish it was first of a series - or at least a trilogy or summat.
Tineke Demosthenous
Sep 16, 2013 Tineke Demosthenous rated it it was amazing
very good
Jennifer Morland
Oct 07, 2012 Jennifer Morland rated it really liked it

I got this book at the dollar store. Loved it.
Heather Browning
Great young adult fiction, very funny but unexpectedly powerful. It left me a little shell-shocked.
Jan 20, 2017 Jordan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sep 02, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Full review at

Summary: Hector’s hearing voices—well, one voice—and that’s never good. And this particular voice happens to be a talking brain tumor. Also not good.

Review: Hey, writers! Are you grappling with how to tackle a heavy topic like mortality without making a total downer of a book? Here’s a little known technique that might do the trick: Add a talking brain tumor!

I know, this book sounds weird. I picked it up at the library without reading the pr
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Hector Brunty has a lot in life to worry about. From bullies to his mum's mung bean soup, life seems to like to throw him nasty curves until it finally takes on a new perspective (literally). When Hector gets diagnosed with a brain tumor, things seem like they couldn't get worse - until the tumor starts talking.

The tumor claims it can coach Hector into creating a better social life for himself. The tumor, however, starts forcing him to do questionable thing
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“Thinking? You're not thinking. You're reasoning without reasons, and that's just another word for prejudice.” 5 likes
“I spat out the appropriate response of bitter laughter. Heads turned to me again. I guess I wasn't looking too sane to the crumblies. [referring to the old people in the room]” 0 likes
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