Yes, K&R is indispensable.
You have to read it, in the same way that you have to read Hamlet and Lord Of The Rings, in the same way that you've got to see Casablanca and Gone With The Wind and Star Wars.
It's a terrific little book. It changed programming, and it transformed technical writing, and for a generation it represented the pinnacle of style.
What do you gain by not reading it? Six hours? Twelve? Twenty? If you're serious about programming, you're going to be spending thousands and thousands of hours casting code. if you can't bother to read, what else can't you be bothered to do?
It's entirely possible that K&R shouldn't be your first C book. And nowadays, C shouldn't be your first language. It's not vital to read K&R first, but you've got to read it.
And why wouldn't you want to? It's fun.