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Jack Tumor

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  42 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

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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
I ask you, how gimmicky can a book be before it can no longer be good?

I'm asking you because I was asking myself this as I looked at the cover of this book, trying to decide whether or not it was worth my time. Obviously, I decided it was. Of course, there was nothing else I needed to read really urgently, so the value of my time was about the equivalent of a Canadian penny (which isn't inherently worthless, but isn't going to do me any good anytime soon).

So I jumped in feet first, careful to n
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
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
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
*Miss Fame*
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
Ringo The Cat
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
Jan 24, 2011 Georgia rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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
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
Ryan Bruesewitz
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 13, 2011 Meeeriams Fleep rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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...
Aug 09, 2009 Caren rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
Shealyn Reilly
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 :)
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.
Heather Browning
Great young adult fiction, very funny but unexpectedly powerful. It left me a little shell-shocked.
I have never laughed so hard in a public library before in my entire life.
Jennifer Morland

I got this book at the dollar store. Loved it.
Daniel Z.
very humorous book with a cool plot and a good ending
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
Hector is an ordinary, 14-year-old geek with a minor problem--he's got a talking, self-aware tumor inside his head.

"Jack Tumor" is a darkly funny, original story that delves into what happens when your ordinary, average geek (Hector argues the merits of his attraction to Hawkgirl) is given advice, instructions and wisdom from a self-aware tumor.

By having the humorous angle to things, Anthony McGown is able to explore some interesting, serious questions including life, death and everything in be
This one should have been in my wheelhouse - a book about a teen and his talking brain tumor - but I just couldn't get into it. I put it aside after the first few pages, mostly out of frustration with how unpleasant the main character was.
María Paula Castellano
Se trata de un chamo que tiene un tumor que le habla y quiere hacerle ganar a la tipa que esta más buena de su colegio pero el se enamora de una rarita y el tumor no quiere y lo quiere dominar pero en realidad no es tan malo (el tumor). El romance entre la rarita y el es demasiado adorable porque los dos son raritos de maneras diferentes y el la trata demasiado bello. El libro es bien raro y no muy bueno pero lo leí más que todo porque estaba de viaje y no tenía otra cosa que leer y costaba solo ...more
Julie S.
The main character has a brain tumor named Jack that coaches him on how to be cool. Interesting concept, but I feel that the author could have done a better job with it. It is a semi-interesting book with his hippie mom, no dad, dorky friends, brain tumor, England slang terms, and unique way of looking at life. It was an OK way to spend some down time, but I did not love this book. Maybe I would have liked it better if I was a boy, but regardless, this book was OK.
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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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