Well, I liked this a ton better than the other Dostoevsky I've read (Brothers Karamazov). Maybe just because it's tighter, maybe because I'm in a different place, maybe it's actually better. It has real force to it, anyway. Dostoevsky's loopy but airtight craftsmanship is on full display here.
Trivia: a) you already heard this one, but Dostoevsky once gambled away his wife's wedding ring; b) this book was in itself a gamble. He took a loan from a guy in exchange for the following gamble: if he didn't present the guy with a novel on a certain date, the guy would own all rights to his other books up to that point. He procrastinated in order to write The Idiot, ended up hiring a stenographer with weeks to spare and dictating this whole thing to her, got it to the guy on the very last day and promptly married the stenographer. That is a good story.