Freedom of Expression
When Freedom of Expression was announced for pre-order, I almost jumped out of my chair to get to it. Not because I knew the history of the book, but because I've been on a hunt for more material by Dani DaOrtiz in English. I actually thought, when I first saw it, that this was to be a new book written specifically in English; only after placing my order, did I read more closely and understand that it was a translation of a book released over 10 years ago -- DaOrtiz's first book no less!
Let's be honest, the age of the book didn't bother me. Most of my book collection is older than that and if you've flipped through a book or two, you know that there's quality material in even some of the oldest of books. Freedom of Expression is no different. Ironically, in the preface DaOrtiz calls out the fact that he was afraid the material might be out-of-date, and that people wouldn't appreciate it as much. I've flipped through the book already and let me tell you, there's nothing out-of-date about it!
I could pull quotes from this book all day, it's full of so much wonderful information and not just when it comes to forces and sleights, just magic theory in general.
Out of context, this could be interpreted one of two ways. The way it's meant to be read (and in the book's context it is pretty clear) is that DaOrtiz is saying that you have to be yourself. He's giving you information and ways to do things, based on how he does them because that's his experience. It's up to you to take that information, that knowledge and experience, and adapt it to yourself and your style. Sometimes it fits. Sometimes it doesn't.
I would love to say that this goes without saying, but in magic I see it all too often where a performer is trying out a routine that they don't necessarily click with, but they're doing it because it has great reviews, or some really great magician is the creator. Unfortunately, this comes through in the performance. The above two quotes are right smack dab on the first page of the book (well, page 23) and kick everything off by setting us up with the idea that he's about to give us a brain-dump of awesomeness and it's up to us to make it our own or forget it.
Psychology & Details
Dani covers a lot in this book and yet, he also keeps it stripped to the point. No extra fluff added, but just enough that you are pre-armed with the ideas and concepts you need to be able to take it and start forcing right away.
While there are only three chapters, each is packed with example after example of ways to perform different forces. I'm already halfway through re-reading the book and am still picking up new things. What I, personally, really enjoy about the presentation, style of writing, and overall detail in the book is that it's full of psychology and theory, but it feels like you're reading a playbook on how to perform card and number forces. It's pretty amazing.
Also, never once did I think it was possible to force a card... without a deck of cards but sure enough Dani provides us with multiple methods!
My only complaint about the book is not about the book itself, it's about the advertising of it on websites. On Murphy's Magic, Vanishing Inc., and everywhere else, it's quoted that the book has "almost 180 pages". If we allow for rounding up, I could see "175" pages being skewed to "almost 180". However, the book has 161 pages -- if you count the photo page at the front and back, and the blank page at the back too. If we count only pages with content (including the Table of Contents), we're looking at 145 pages. How they got to almost 180 is beyond me. I would normally yell "false advertising" but I'm so enthralled with this book, I just don't care =P
Freedom of Expression Lecture
Having pre-ordered the book, I received an email on December 28th with a link to a video lecture (download), aptly titled Freedom of Expression.
At the time of this writing, I've only watched about a third of the video. So far, it follows along with the book's contents in-order, but it adds a lot of context and visualization. At first, I thought the video was going to be like any other "book made into a movie" summaries but not at all. The video is standalone and only further expands what the book provides!
Where to buy?
Unfortunately, the last time I checked Freedom of Expression was out of stock. You can still check out the product page at Amazon to make sure though. And, there's always eBay!
Contents of Freedom of Expression
- Foreword to the English Edition by Miguel Angel Gea
- Preface to the English Edition by Dani DaOrtiz
- Very important
- Attitude & Concepts
- Some Concepts we will work with
- Psychological Forcing and The Psychology of Forcing
- Classic Force
- The Seventh Card
- Miscellaneous Forces
- Working with Small Groups of Cards
- Verbal Forces
- Magician's Choice
- Deceiving via Visual Perception
- Forcing From a Fan
- PM Method
- Sequence of Properties
- Psychological Forces
- Mistakes and Outs
- Mistakes in Technical Forces
- Mistakes in Verbal Forces
- Forces and Strategies in Action
- At the Tips of My Fingers
- Invisible Deck Trilogy
- Chosen Thought
- Soul Mates
- Trapped Thought (Collectors)
- The Trick That Can Be Explained
- Unraveling the Triple Intuition
- Ambitious Travel
The book's actual Table of Contents is much more verbose than what's displayed above. I opted to highlight only the main topics and not the individual header sections both for brevity and because I feel that the headers themselves are part of the book's contents.