The Purposefulness of the Creatures. "Confessing a Murder", by Nicholas Drayson. [review]
"Confessing a Murder" is written in the narrator’s old age. It is the journal of a man who is now the sole inhabitant of a small island somewhere in the Java Sea. He addresses a diary to Charles Darwin, whom he calls ‘Bobby’ and for whom he still holds something like romantic feelings. One of the delights of "Confessing a Murder" is its detailed descriptions of an imagined environment. It includes a lizard with uncanny powers of disguise, frogs that breed by seeming to digest their partners, crabs that work together to fell trees and so on. In this case, the angel is in the detail. Drayson elaborates his world with such small, delicate strokes that its existence becomes not just credible but seductive. You start wanting to go there. But it remains an enchanted island, off limits.