Kinda episodic, sorta YA, definitely pulpy.
Picks up considerably toward the end with some intergalactic jurisprudence and genocide inflicted per court order. The tribunal admits that it is not a court of justice, but rather a security council (232). Narrator is cast into the role of attorney for humanity. (This is where, incidentally, Star Trek : The Next Generation
got its opening and closing frames.)
Certainly can see that Adams took books like this one as the primary target of his mockery in the Hitchhiker's Guide
, as both partake of the douchebag-leaves-Earth subgenre.
The book is self aware enough, too: "It was the wildest space opera I had ever seen, loaded with dragons and Arcturian maidens and knights in shining space armor and shuttling between King Arthur's Court and the Dead Sea Bottoms of Barsoom," a dream of the narrator's (63).
Good sense of humor--e.g.: "A thousand million billion miles. I refuse to have anything to do with such a preposterous figure. It may be 'short' as cosmic distances go, but there comes a time when the circuit breakers in your skull trip out from overload" (205).
Some hard scifi content on occasion (including Einsteinian stuff); generally low on RAH's politics; includes the usual pithy commentary--e.g., "library science is the foundation of all sciences" (186).
Recommended for man-eating wormfaces, members of the committee of vigilantes, and Skyway Soap sloganeers.