This title challenges traditional scholarship on absurdist literature, privileging the reader and the genre's stylistic achievements. Since Martin Esslin coined 'the Theatre of the Absurd' to describe experimental drama in the mid-twentieth century, the term 'absurd' has been adopted as a means of discussing a vast array of literary text. Many accounts have focused on the philosophical and thematic concerns of absurd prose fiction, but literary-criticism has failed to agree on the stylistic, generic, and temporal. This volume takes an alternative approach: its core aim is to provide a coherent, linguistically rigorous examination of the discourse features which characterise the absurd in literature. In order to understand how such a critically ill-defined term continues to have value and relevance to a global readership in the twenty-first century it takes as its starting point the readers who regularly use absurd terms and investigates their discussions in online fora, on literary tagging websites, and in face-to-face interactions. It examines a diverse range of literary texts, both prose and poetry. It covers classic and contemporary absurdist texts. It analyses the stylistic characteristics of this body of work using a cognitive-stylistic approach.