I enjoyed it, but mostly because I related to it personally because my wife is a “craphound”, and it characterizes that lifestyle perfectly. The alien made it more interesting. The lesson in “the worth of what we value” offers nothing deep enough to reflect on, but the read is fun.
Good story-and yes, somewhat predictable, but a fun read. Using the golden rule creatively on members of a military spaceship from a harsh civilization bent on conquest that landed on your peaceful planet might just work. Stress "creatively".
This book is great, but it was a little hard to read the old english... even if someone doesn't like the book, that doesn't prove anything. Its really famous for a reason!