'Exceptional...an account of how to stay alive, and even find a measure of belonging, at the heart of a paranoid self-propelled death cult.'
Times Literary Supplement
'Particularly haunting...the book as a whole raises profound questions.'
'One of 2016's best books.'
'A superb narrative of one man's nightmarish descent into a world of depravity.'
'A unique and compelling account that effectively intertwines the biographical account of George Omona (fictional name)...with the wider narrative of an ongoing conflict.'
LSE Review of Books
'Cakaj renders George Omona's story of joining the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda with ... an appealing, clear-eyed simplicity.'
'As I read this book, I read my own experiences and what I went through. It is a story that all people should know about: how men, women and children suffer and survive conflict.'
Evelyn Amony, author of I am Evelyn Amony and chair, Women's Advocacy Network
'Of all the books written about the LRA, this is the one that the politicians and diplomats should be reading. Cakaj puts us in the boots of the kids, pawns that nobody on the world stage can be bothered to save, left walking to this day.'
Jane Bussmann, author of The Worst Date Ever, or How it Took a Comedy Writer to Expose Africa's Secret War
'When The Walking Defeats You is that rare achievement: an account of a rebel movement as seen from the inside. Cakaj's meticulously-researched account takes the reader into the heart of one of Africa's most feared organisations, capturing the mundane brutality of life in the LRA.'
Michela Wrong, author of Borderlines and It's Our Turn to Eat
'Gripping and gleaming with insight. Ledio Cakaj leads the reader into the very heart of one of Africa's least-understood but most enduring rebel movements.'
Matthew Green, author of The Wizard of the Nile
'A deep and intimate portrait of the daily life of a child soldier. The book deserves to take its place next to books like Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone and Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation in the sad catalogue of stories about children at war.'
Andrew Rice, author of The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget
'A heartbreaking story, unmasking the everyday complexities of a most gruesome and sorrowful war. Absolutely remarkable!'
Sverker Finnstroem, author of Living with Bad Surroundings: War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda
'A remarkable first-hand account of life in the LRA, providing a compelling and convincing perspective on what it was like to be a combatant.'
Tim Allen, co-editor of The Lord's Resistance Army: Myth and Reality
'Cakaj skilfully takes the reader inside the harrowing world of the LRA. Interspersed with stunning photography, and reflections of persons who survived LRA attacks, a multi-layered story comes to life, further unfolding the complexities of such a devastating war.'
Erin Baines, University of British Columbia
'A gripping portrayal of a rebel fighter's harrowing journey in central Africa. Without pulling punches, Ledio Cakaj provides a human face to the notorious but often caricatured Lord's Resistance Army. An insightful tour-de-force by an author whose deep knowledge about this group shines through on almost every page.'
Ronald R. Atkinson, author of The Roots of Ethnicity and editor of The Raging Storm: A Reporter's Inside Account of the Northern Uganda War
'Brilliantly weaves the dramatic and often horrifying experience of one man into a gripping story of two decades of the LRA war. A product of vast knowledge of the conflict, When The Walking Defeats You is sure to become a classic in the literature on conflict in Africa.'
Adam Branch, author of Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda