The story takes place in Colorado and begins with Jack Torrance, going to a place by the name of “The Overlook Hotel” to be the caretaker over the winter months. To get the job as the caretaker of the hotel, he would be alone for five months, and have free food, and also free stay at the hotel, all Jack has to do is maintenance and handyman work around the hotel.
He arrives for the interview and meets Lloyd (the manager of the Overlook Hotel). They discuss certain duties and jobs that will be needed around the hotel, and then Lloyd brings up a certain account that happened a couple of years back at the hotel, about a man that murdered his family from what you call “cabin fever” caused by seclusion and away from everything.
Jack is stunned by what he hears and then quickly says something to the effect of not having to worry about something like that happening, and that he needed the months off to get started on a book he was writing. Lloyd decides to let him have the job and asked him to come back the next day. The next day Danny (his son) and his wife Wendy and Jack left for the hotel.
They arrive and get their bags dropped off, it is the last day the hotel is open for the season, and people are checking out, and workers cleaning up, so they can leave for the spring. Jack and Wendy go to meet up with Lloyd, and Danny leaves for the game room. Lloyd takes them around the hotel to look around and get a feel of where they will be staying and shows them their rooms.
They stop and meet up with the head cook Dick Hallorann, Lloyd asks Dick to show Wendy and Danny around the Kitchen as he takes Jack to see the rest of the hotel. Dick Hallorann goes through the kitchen and shows Wendy what to do, and what to use, etc… all through this time of the tour Dick keeps on using a mind signal, a voice to communicate, at first Danny does not realize it, but then as the tour wraps up, the family meets back up, and Dick offers Danny some ice cream as Lloyd takes Wendy and Jack to another part of the hotel.
As Danny is eating his ice cream, Dick is talking to him, and then talks about, what he was doing during the tour how he could communicate with him without even talking, there are few people who have this gift and some don’t even know they have it, he said it’s called “the shining”. A couple of weeks later after adapting to living in this hotel, life is good and they are happy for once, he has plenty of space to move around and lots of time to start writing his book, but he is drained of ideas. Danny starts to see things as he walks around the halls of the hotel, not real things images in his mind, horrible and frightening things, though he had no knowledge of what happened in the hotel years before.
A couple of more weeks set in and Jack started seeing things, such as people who weren’t really there. All this time Jack has been losing his mind due to cabin fever. One day Wendy stepped into his writing room to see what he had been typing, and there was a stack of papers that read things like “All work and no play makes Jack insane” and other things to affect the papers, Wendy then panics and notices he has changed and has totally lost his mind. Jack starts to see people and talk’s with them as if they were really there. Dick away on leave for the winter, starts to worry about the family and try’s to phone them, no luck, so he gets the police to try to use the radio, then there was no luck there either.
Jack’s mind starts to wear away, and he starts to totally lose it. Dick Hallorann decides to go back to the Overlook and see if the family is in danger, because he picked up signals of that, through “the shining” from Danny. Wendy decides to look for Jack because he didn’t come back the following night, so she goes around looking for him in the hotel with a bat, and then confronts him as she was looking through his writing, and then he talks to her about doing something with Danny, and he follows her up some stairs and she swings the bat a couple of times, as he says he was going to kill her and knocks him down the stairs, and then drags him into the kitchen and locks him up in the freezer.
The next morning he leaves the freezer and grabs an ax and goes to their bedroom. Danny got out and ran outside, and Wendy could not get out so she used the knife and stabbed Jack when he broke down the door with an ax, and Wendy ran past him, Jack then goes downstairs and finds Dick Hallorann and Jack who him with the ax and kills him. After that, he goes running after Danny and Wendy outside and Then couldn’t find them, and after being wounded and tired he fell down and froze to death.