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User ID: A Novel of Identity Theft

2.98 of 5 stars 2.98  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  23 reviews
What if someone stole your identity . . . but you didn't want it anyway?

The New York professor Vera de Sica is tired of her life -- it hasn't turned out the way she hoped but, then again, it is her life. At least it is until a trip to Los Angeles, where she becomes the unwitting victim of a con artist when she returns her rental car.

Enter Charlene Cummins -- cosmetics sale
Paperback, 258 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Mariner Books (first published 2005)
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I couldn't believe i actually wasted my time reading this! Although the initial idea for the story showed promise, I was completely let down by unrealistic and even unlikable characters. Weak main character who was wimpy, mousy and soo incredibly stupid, boring and lifeless, that I would initially root for the antagonist. However, the antagonist was just as bad and conjured up images of a desperate white trash skank who was just as much a loser as the identity theft victim. Ugh. I think I either ...more
Identity theft. An interesting concept, but not at all well developed or meaningfully explored in this novel. The protagonist was boring, drab, and helpless. The antagonist was far more interesting. The author actually used some humor and colorful vocabulary when writing about her, which was the only enjoyable aspect of the story.

The author basically makes a list of the things that the identity thief buys, and tells us, over and over, that the victim wastes time on the phone making things right
good book! i really enjoyed the contrast between the disenchanted teacher whose identity was stolen and the disenchanted criminal who stole her life. the misconceptions we have about people are always launch pads for...

in this case a common criminal rationalising stealing a woman'e identity because she think the woman is a ivory league new york city professor who could afford to be taken advantage of. the reality is the woman is about to tumble down a slope of bad luck. she lives pay check to pa
I have definitely found a new author. I love Shute's writing with it being the perfect blend of literary fiction and suspense.

I picked this book off the library randomly and then when I read the goodreads review, I was a little apprehensive because the reviews were not very good.

I decided to give it a try and quickly couldn't put it down. It seems most of the negative feedback related to the characters being unlikeable, particularly Vera who is soooo whiny. I agree that Vera is not that likeable
Loved this book! Couldn't put it down. I have admired Shute's writing ever since her novel Life Size, and was not disappointed with this most recent one. It's both literary fiction and a complete page turning suspense novel. Both the main female characters were well done--complex and compelling. Neither of them women I'd probably like to spend much time with, but that's beside the point. Only thing I think it lacked was an ending with a little more cohesion. Not that everything had to be wrapped ...more
Lauren (strangled)
Awful in comparison to Life-Size. Only interest I can see that it holds for anyone is for those who've dealt with identity theft or those who read it in the moment the book was published - when dial-up was still a reality, and when the multiplicity of identity on the internet was still a new & fascinating concept. Even then, Shute does a poor job of fully exploring and giving any real depth to the philosophical side of her story - to the crap she's trying to explore - identity, what it means ...more
When Vera de Sica pulls into the wrong parking lot at the car rental place, the car is stolen. This is only the beginninf of her troubles, since what the thieves really wanted was her identity. This is a fascinating look at how easy it is to have your identity stolen. Watching the thieves systematically run through Vera's money and credit is frightening. The book was good, though the ending seemed false to me.
Oct 04, 2008 Amber rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Nice ending, but boy was it repetitive. I couldn't get into the "Victim" very well and mostly just growled whenever she was blathering about her feelings about identity. I much preferred the other character and then how the two interact.
Also I still can't get over the author's spelling of her name. I know it's stupid that it matters to me but really?! Je-n-e-fer?
It's fine, whatever.
Spooky! I read this book before identity theft became such a hot topic. This is a novel about one woman stealing another woman's identity. They live several states apart. We get to see how each woman feels about what is happening to them until the wronged woman flies across the country to face down her assailant. (It is terrific how she figures out who the culprit is, too!) Great writing!
Despite the fact Jenny was my (college) Freshman writing teacher and I like her very much as a person (she also pushed for "plain language" ie, "use" not "utilize," which I'm all for), this is the second novel of hers I've read and I don't love her writing style. I tend to think were it not for her affiliations with academic institutions, she probably wouldn't get published.
A very interesting idea, but stereotypical unlikable characters and also pretty unrealistic. Most perpetrators of identity theft are illegal aliens, whom the author champions in this book. The ending is completely unrealistic and I actually didn't care about Vera's plight...instead, I thought she was the perfect type of person this should happen to.
This was alright. Not thrilling, by any means. An okay way to pass the time, and it was the only book I could find in my basement on short notice that started with "U" for my alphabet challenge. Not a complete waste of time, but I won't be reading it again.
In Los Angeles for a conference, Vera de Sica confronts a nightmare when her identity is stolen by a scam artist, in a novel that captures the psychology of the victim and victimizer alike as Vera pursues the thief through cyberspace.
Shute is a good writer, but this book was entirely lackluster. The protagonist in particular, was annoying - no personality, only bland and whiny. I thought this would be suspenseful, but it wasn't in the least bit.
This book was so anticlimactic it made me want to scream. After reading a very monotone dialogue where it felt like nothing was happening, the ending was an unsatisfactory joke.
Pretty good book - it will make you PARANOID about having your identity stolen, though. Upon finishing the book, I went and ordered a copy of my credit report.
Thebestdogmom Stiner
An excellent book on ID theft. It is very interesting to learn just how far someone can go with a little information from a careless person.
Aside from the fact that this book was, by its nature, outdated by 2007, I still didn't like any of the characters enough to care about this book.
Great story. Stressful in the way that it's supposed to be. Odd ending -- I'd have given it 4 stars if the ending was better.
Enjoyed it was a fast read but wouldn't read it again
This was a fascinating novel about identity theft.
Dramatic and funny.
Rebekah marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Rachel Geen
Rachel Geen marked it as to-read
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