C&P isn't too bad as a first Russian novel and might be the best for Dostoyevsky (that or maybe The Idiot). Personally I think Dostoyevsky is very good and well worth reading. I will second what >>7576214 says about starting with something shorter, whether Russian or otherwise. One thing about Russian lit that can be confusing is the way characters are named and referred to: they have nicknames as well as patronymics (middle names based on their fathers; names), and they are referred to in a wide variety of ways.
You could start with short stories. For Dostoyevsky, you could look for a collection (or online, individually) for a collection with at least some of the following: 'The Christmas Tree and a Wedding', 'White Nights', 'A Nasty Anecdote', 'The Crocodile', 'Bobok', 'A Gentle Spirit', 'The Dream of a Ridiculous Man'. Another excellent Russian short story writer--the best, really--is Chekhov, although some find him unexciting. For a more general collection/survey of Russian stories, Project Gutenberg has a good one here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13437
Dostoyevsky also wrote some really good novellas, if you want something in between lengthwise. The Double, The Gambler, and Notes from the House of the Dead are all excellent. Notes from Underground gets mentioned all the time too. (The other major Russian writer that I'd mention for novellas is Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Hadji Murad, and The Forged Coupon are all good choices.)
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