This is a classic Russian novel, long and involved. I had a hard time getting interested in the novel. Part 1 really dragged as the Raskolnikoff planned a murder. However, after the murder is committed, it really got intriguing. Other characters begin to emerge and the interplay between them got complicated and weird. It might be helpful to know a little bit about the predominant philosophies in the intellectual community of Russia during the 1800's. There are long discussions about these philosophies throughout the book that can be confusing and mysterious if you don't have some basic knowledge of them.