in reply to DBIx can't read SQL server 2008 varchar(max) column

Forget the ODBC tracing for the moment. If you have a recentish DBI and DBD::ODBC set DBI_TRACE=DBD=trace.log, export it (if unix shell) and rerun. What is in trace.log?

If you haven't got a recentish DBI/DBD::ODBC set DBI_TRACE=15=trace.log. There will be more output but alot of it will be irrelevant.