The exposition of the story introduces the three main characters, Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrance. Jack Torrance is a temperamental alcoholic. His temper is uncontrollable and he can't hold a job. The story is set in 1980 in various locations.
The first conflict of the story appears, when Jack Torrance, a literature teacher at a local university, beats up a student. The student, George Hatfield, was angry and Mr. Torrance for asking him to leave the debate team. George was furious and slashed the tires on Jack's car. Jack's short temper burned and he fought George. Jack lost his job at the university and needed a new one.
Jack Torrance's old friend, Al Shockley, was on the director's board at a Colorado hotel called The Overlook. Al convinced the board to hire Jack as the maintenance worker for the Winter. The hotel closed during the Winter, so no one would be there besides the Torrance family. The one thing no one knew is that the hotel had a malevolent secret.
The Overlook snapped Jack Torrance and convinced him that his family stood in the way of him getting the manager position. He attacked Wendy in the lobby of The Overlook. She managed to stab him with a knife and escape his grasp. Danny mentally called Dick Halloran, with whom he shares a connection with, a few days back. Dick showed up to stop the violence, but was also attacked. Jack bashed Dick in the face with a mallet to prevent Jack from doing his "job".
Jack managed to escape the grasp of the Overlook for a few seconds to speak with Danny and apologize. Danny was apathetic and calm, while his father pleaded for him to run before he lost control again. Danny stood still and the Overlook gained control of Jack once more. The spirit forgot one thing, it forgot to turn down the boiler and the hotel was going to explode.
The Overlook killed Jack by forcing him to turn the boiler down at the last second. They were too late and the boiler exploded. Danny, Wendy, and Dick Halloran escaped by the skin of their teeth and fled on Halloran's snow mobile. The Overlook was a fiery mess, broken glass covered the ground and the hedge animals withered and died. Al Shockley found Wendy a job and she took care of Danny. He and Halloran kept in touch.