While the book is a work of fiction, it aptly captures the early music scene - namely the musicians who came to Hoboken with little else but a dream and a guitar strapped over their shoulders.
It follows the tale of four such musicians who eventually form their own band and begin playing out at venues like legendary Maxwell's.
And there will be a party to celebrate its release this March 11.
Painting a picture
"When I started writing [In Hoboken], I didn't know what I was writing," said Bauman last week about the writing process. "When I started, I thought it was a short story, and it kind of morphed into this story."
In the book, there are many references to places in Hoboken - past and present - that were loosely based on Bauman's own experience working and living in town in the mid 1990s.
"In Hoboken is fictional, but very clearly there is a starting-off point," said Bauman. "My starting-off point was when I got out of the Army in 1995. I joined my friend Gregg Cagno and lived on the couch."
Bauman's personal experience is very loosely captured in the character Thatcher, but he said that there are elements about all the characters that aren't like the people they were based on.
"I wasn't trying to write a memoir; I was trying to write a novel," said Bauman. "I was trying to capture an essence. When you think about a certain person or place, a certain feeling comes over you."
Bauman said that he was lucky enough to know Don Brody (The Marys), who is loosely portrayed in the character Marsh in the book and who died in 1997. Bauman also was lucky enough to play with him.
"I tried to capture the essence of the man, yet at the same time, he is not Marsh," said Bauman. "I write fiction, and in writing fiction I try to capture the essence of something. I hope that us what I've done."
Readers will be delighted with the references to well-known places in Hoboken - some of which are called by their real name - like legendary Maxwell's and the Shannon Lounge. And other places which are disguised, like The Spa diner, the Guitar Bar (called the Double Dutch) and others.
He said, "There are a lot of little in jokes in the book. There are lots of little things that were slipped in."
Bauman added, "I consider it to be my last great love song to Hoboken. It's a love song to Don [Brody] and the people I met. It's a love song about the time and the place."
According to Bauman, Brody was a force of nature and known by almost everyone in town. Bauman said that he saw him play at their last gig at the Shannon.
"Don had hurt his leg; he had polio as a kid," said Bauman. "He was hurting pretty bad that year. We knew he was sick, but we didn't know how sick. I remember looking over at him and he was just glowing that night. He was always larger than life but that night he was even more so."
Bauman said that it is harder to write about subjects that are close to you.
"It is harder, because I want to get it right, but I also want to be honest," said Bauman. "A novel needs to be honest. I really wanted to be honest about feelings. Anytime you are really being honest you are taking a risk."
Bauman's first two novels were well-received. The Ice Beneath You and Voodoo Lounge, were sparked by things he witnessed on his tours in the Army as a soldier in Somalia and Haiti.
While The Ice Beneath You is a work of fiction, Bauman said that it was loosely based on an incident that happened while he was in the Army.
"It was about an incident where a soldier accidentally shot a boy," Bauman said. "It almost happened to me. I knew that elsewhere in the country that it had a happened and I knew how lucky I was to have that not happen."
According to Bauman, he's been writing since he was a child. In addition to his novels, he's also written short stories and has appeared regularly on NPR.
Bauman also developed an early appreciation for music. He said that traveling with a guitar was a great way to write overseas.
"I got to the point that I was pretty good lyricist," said Bauman, who said that he realized that when he took a crack at writing that his talent was with words.
Bauman will return to his former stomping ground on Tuesday, March 11 at Maxwell's for a book release party and a night of music.
Gregg Cagno, a long-time friend of Bauman and inspiration for the character "James" in the book, will play along with some of the members of the band Camp Hoboken.
When asked, Bauman said that he misses playing out at venues like Maxwell's.
"I do," said Bauman. "The book release is always sort of like going on tour. The thing I like the best is the performance part. I get very nostalgic about it."
He added, "I am a better writer than I ever was a musician. I miss the time. I miss the people. I miss the community. I would have been a very different person had I not been in Hoboken. There were so many people that touched and enriched my life and made me a better person."
Bauman said that they decided to have the party on Tuesday because that is the night that Brody formerly ran the Folk and Fondue series at Maxwell's in the '90s.
More to come
In addition to touring for In Hoboken, Bauman is currently working on two books - his fourth novel and a book for young adults.
According to Bauman, the fourth novel has a working title of The Doghouse. It is about a woman who compulsively buys dogs the way some people drink.
"The first two novels were very dark," he said. "In Hobokenhas some dark moments, but it is a much more lighthearted book. The new book is lighthearted and looks at the ridiculousness of life."
Bauman said he hopes to have it finished next year.
He also hopes that readers enjoy his book.
"All I ever really wanted to do was tell a good story as best as I can," said Bauman. "I know some good stories and I try to turn them into a good book. In the case of people who were actually in Hoboken in the mid-'90s, I hope there is an additional benefit to them. But really, all I want to do is tell a good story."
Christian Bauman will read from his book "In Hoboken" at Maxwell's, 1039 Washington St., on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free. For more information, visit: www.christianbauman.com. Comments can be sent to: email@example.com.