In Makbara, Juan Goytisolo -- widely considered Spain's greatest living writer -- again dazzles the reader with his energetic, stylistic prose, which he himself compares to a snake: cunning, sly, sinuous. But the themes in Makbara are perhaps more universal than in his earlier works. Makbara is full of its own kind of warmth, humor, and love. After all, makbara is an Arab word referring to the spot in North African cemeteries where young couples meet for romantic encounters. Sex, for Goytisolo, is clearly the greatest cosmic joke, the great leveller. "Sex," he says, "is above all freedom."