Most dreams in fiction are just hokey, clumsily handled devices to prop up the plot, things no one could mistake for real dreams. The Empty City, on the other hand, reads like a dream. An intense, literary dream that you just can't shake, where faintly remembered images subtly haunt your waking reality. The Empty City is not plot driven; the real action lies in Brandon's changing relationship with how he understands reality. It is, as the book itself says, "a story about silence" and the short chapters, episodes of Brandon's life, both waking and dreaming (and sometimes it's difficult to tell which is which), read like meditations.