It is a literary technique called parataxis that favors short, simple sentences, with the use of coordinating rather than subordinating conjunctions. I agree with you, it looks typical, or at least is common in written English.
Dickens employs parataxis in his opening to A Tale of Two Cities:
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…
Hemingway, from "The Undefeated":
- Manuel drank his brandy. He felt sleepy himself. It was too hot to go out into the town. Besides there was nothing to do. He wanted to see Zurito. He would go to sleep while he waited.
"Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better--splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another's umbrellas, in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foothold at street corners."
(Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852-1853)
"In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels."
(Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929)
"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun."
(Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, 1940)
As for why, this usage probably has its roots in the past, in Old English:
Parataxis in Old English: Evidence from Translation
K. Aaron Smith, University of New Mexico
In this paper, I show the paratactic clause combining nature of Old English through a comparison study of some portions of the Old English translations of Bede’s original Latin work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. In the data, I find that whereas Latin employed many hypotactic and subordinating clause combining strategies, Old English translations of these structures was predominantly paratactic.
The study is significant for the literary history of the English language and for the linguistic theory of grammaticization. First, it indicates that written Old English was closer to a spoken type of discourse where little subordination is found. I argue that this is most likely due to the fact that in the Old English period, the language had not long enough been used for literary aims and therefore had not yet developed a large repertoire of hypotactic and subordinating strategies for combining clauses as compared to Latin, which at the time already had a long history of literary expression.