Posted July 3, 1997

Categories: Books, Fiction

I wrote Foamers under the pseudonym Jon Berson. It’s a thriller about trains and train fans published by Scribners in 1997.

“Both mystery and rail fans will enjoy the tale; the novel succeeds admirably at combining a crime story with a captivating look at the romance of the rails” Booklist

“Berson does a solid job of capturing the obsessive love of trains of his characters; there is plenty that is promising here: brisk pacing and an original story.” Chicago Tribune

“A fast-paced, easy-reading mystery.” Philadelphia City Paper

“Newcomer Jon Berson’s inventive first novel Foamers is the gripping story of a train buff and an FBI agent who warily join forces to catch a serial train-wrecker. This is “Speed” meets “Trainspotting” and if it’s not on screen by this time next year, I’ll be rail surprised.” Raleigh News and Observer

“Berson knows his trains. Without once resorting to trivializing the rich lore that belongs to the history of train travel he evokes a romantic response. His passion for the preservation of the railroad is heartfelt.” Mostly Murder

“Jon Berson has woven a unique and compelling story out of just the right threads – the romance of the railroads, the fanaticism of terrorists versus the obsessions of foamers, high-tech train wrecks versus low-tech gunfights, and a love story that thrives despite the feuds and frustrations of law enforcement. Best of all, Berson writes it so we feel it – you’re going to like this one a lot.” Stephen Greenleaf, award-winning mystery author.

“Jon Berson has engineered a thriller from the uniquely original vantage point of our great railroad heritage. If you want lively adventure filled with deadly danger while crossing America at full throttle: ‘All Aboard!'” Governor James G. Martin, former governor of North Carolina and renowned train enthusiast

If you are interested in purchasing an autographed copy of Foamers, please e-mail me at


  1. John
    Please explain the ending to “Foamers”
    I don’t understand why they were making a fire in the wastebasket. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. First of all, thanks, Ted, for reading Foamers! Second, it’s been nearly 20 years since the book was published, so I honestly had no idea what you were talking about. So, I had to pull the book off the shelf and reread the ending. Which brings me to: third, they were burning Larry’s self-help book. It was a way to celebrate his new life and their excursion together. Setting off the fire alarm was a kind of “accident” to remind them of what they’d gone through: an ordeal by fire. I hope this helps…

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