Bilbo meets Gollum. A strange chapter compared to the others but the most compelling so far.
It's not a long chapter so I don't have an awful lot to say about this one.
Waking up alone after his fall (he was on Dori's back when he fell) Bilbo first finds a ring then meets Gollum. Gollum wants to eat Bilbo but he wants a little chat first; as you do. Quite by chance, by the time Gollum is hungry and beginning to suspect that Bilbo has found his lost ring, Bilbo slips it on his finger and realises he is invisible, which he uses to help him hide from Gollum and eventually to pass the goblins and escape the tunnels.
I enjoyed seeing one of the characters use his wits (and a bit of blind luck) to escape peril rather than Gandalf simply swooping in and saving the day. I hope there will be more of this kind of action to come.
Gollum came across as a lot more sympathetic than I previously imagined. I mean, we all know why he's like he is and what he was before (though this book hasn't said. Well, it hasn't said yet, I don't know if someone will fill in the pieces later on) his situation is all of his own making but he's just such a pathetic creature. He reminds me of an addict, repeating unhealthy behaviour, knowing it is bad for him but completely unable to stop himself. Had I not seen the Ring's trilogy I might hope that he had hit his rock bottom and start to recover (especially now that Bilbo has possession of his addiction, the ring) but alas I know that is a false hope.
I'm curious now to continue the book. I want to know more about Gollum (I only remember vague details) and what happened to the dwarves. And how they're ever going to find each other again!