Definitely not a casual read. It is one of those classics that is a test to get through since it is so old and originally not even meant for the English language. I read it years ago and while Dostoyevsky's style is not my thing, I loved the idea that Raskolnikov could find his redemption in the end. Redemption is a hard thing to find especially for such a wicked act, but the normal elements of fine story-telling are there. The murder scene is perfect since he kills the ledner and then bam! He must also kill the sister to get away with it. However, it is much more philosophical and slow moving as most of the 19th century literature was. I think t shows how much faster society moves and thinks now (for better or worse). I would recommend it to anybody but certainly many may not read it as it is a challenge. It's probably up there with the number of people who have plowed through Moby Dick.