007 Book location: Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta (La Malagueta Bullring) / DoubleShot (2000)

Bond book: DoubleShot (2000)
Place and location in the book: Paseo Reding, Málaga, Spain
What happens here in the book: Bond visits a bullfight arena in order to hear the villain Domingo Espada’s speech and to see matador Javier Rojo’s bullfight
Visited by 007 Travelers: 2018

“It was a busy little place, crowded with anxious spectators waiting for the doors of the bullring to open. The two slot machines made a tremendous racket, and the air was buzzing with patrons’ exuberance. These were people who loved bullfighting, and bullfighting is as widely discussed there as football is debated in Britain.”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

The throngs of people outside the bullring fascinated Bond and Heidi. They were all dressed in traditional garb for corridas – the women wore large, colorful dresses and headpieces, and carried fans. Every man was equipped with cigar, and groups carried botas, pouches full of wine. While the atmosphere was not as festive as during the annual August feria, which had occurred a week earlier, there was still enough excitement to generate anticipation in even the most jaded person.”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

Bond crossed the street and joined the masses of people entering the beige bullring. While not as old as the one in Ronda, it is a beautiful, historic landmark. It is the site of not only bullfights, but also rock concerts, motorbike shows, operas, elections, and political rallies. The city had grown around it: tall apartment buildings stood on all sides of the ring, offering spectacular views for tenants owning binoculars.”

Raymond Benson “DoubleShot” (2000)

The energy around him was palpable as Bond entered the pasillo and walked past the refreshments stands. Much like at an American sporting event, hawkers sold sweets, sunflower seeds, beer and soft drinks during corrida. Bond stopped and bought a beer, and then swallowed four of Dr. Feere’s tablets, noticing that he was running low. What would he do when he needed to refill the prescription?”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

The place was filling up quickly, so Bond made his way to the tendidos. His seat was in one of the best sections, the tendido sombra, where patrons are able to sit in the shade. Next to it was the apoderados section, where managers and other bullfighting regulators sat. Some prime seats there had obviously been draped and reserved for VIP’s presumably Espada and his team. The president of the corrida and his aides sat in a section a few rows higher than Bond. Directly across the ring was the orchestra, the members of which were settling down, ready to begin the music. The fight was completely sold out; the roar of the spectators grew louder as the seats filled, section by section. The seat next to Bond’s, however, remained empty.”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

Bond looked around the place with interest. Ever since he had met Javier and learned a thing or two about bullfighting, he genuinely enjoyed the spectacle. It was already an assault of colors, noise, and expectation – and the bullfight had yet to begin! He noted that the flags of Spain, Andalucía, and Málaga´s local provincial government hung over the puerta de cuadrillas, where the procession of matadors and their teams would enter. Banners or advertisements, prominently displayed during concerts and other events, were prohibited at bullfights.”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

Bullfights, miraculously, always began on time. At exactly 6:25, Domingo Espada walked out to the center of the ring, carrying a microphone, ready to make the most of his five minutes. The crowd immediately gave him an ovation. Espada smiled broadly and waved, then raised the microphone to his mouth and began to speak.”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

“My friends, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Málaga’s Plaza de Toros. I will not take up too much of your time, for we have an exciting corrida today. You probably know that I am scheduled to go to Gibraltar tomorrow morning to meet the Prime Ministers of Spain and Great Britain, and the Governor of Gibraltar. I have pledged a remainder of my life to raising public consciousness regarding the Gibraltar issue. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I am asking any able-bodied men to come with me and join my security force. The pay is very good. We have nearly two thousand men already. My goal is to increase the size of the force to twenty-five hundred. I need to show the other side that Domingo Espada’s party is powerful and has the will of the people behind it. You will find recruitment centers located at the exits. If you are over eighteen years of age, please, I would love to have you work for me. If you want to see Spain become a major force in the politics of the world again, you will support my cause. I need you. The people need you. Spain needs you…”

Raymond Benson: “DoubleShot” (2000)

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