As I’ve been reading Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come, I’ve come across some punctuation habits that have been throwing me. I’m sure I’ve seen the following use of the semicolon in other books and stories, but it’s standing out in this novel.
Here are a couple of examples:
“I wondered what my own appearance was; knowing that Albert wouldn’t tell me if it was unpleasant in any way.”
“The chilling sensation again; the hint of ‘another place.'”
Wouldn’t commas suffice here, or are these semicolons used for rhetorical effect, making for a stronger pause? Or something completely different?