All the stars are really for a single sentence, which I read in a moment of blissful cognitive dissonance more than 20 years ago. It was the extraordinary effect of that sentence - its timing, not its consequences -- which made the book unforgettable. No matter how manly Gene's one-sentence act may have seemed to him, he wasn't taking the place of his better self; he was destroying it. And still he was proud of what he'd become. Is that what comes of a culture where hierarchy and status becomes militant, at Phillips Exeter and after?